Former South African president Nelson Mandela (pictured), who was airlifted to a Pretoria hospital on Saturday, will undergo further testing for an undisclosed condition but is said to be “doing well,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
At first it was reported that the country’s first Black president was hospitalized for not being able to speak. A close unidentified source spoke to the South African newspaper, The Sunday Times, revealed that “he [Mandela] has not been talking … he is not looking good. It’s clear that something is troubling him.”
The 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader, who spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist White rule in his country, was previously hospitalized this past February for persistent abdominal pains, but a keyhole examination revealed there was nothing wrong with him. Mandela has since stayed mostly at his home in the village of Qunu located in the Eastern Cape province.
Increasingly frail and no longer able to make personal appearances, Mandela, who is also affectionately referred to as “Madiba,” which is his Xhosa clan name, was visited this year by such luminaries as former U.S. President Bill Clinton and last year by First Lady Michelle Obama.
During his present hospital stay, South African President Jacob Zuma visited the elderly anti-apartheid hero on Sunday and his office released a press release the following day informing the public that Mandela looked well and “had a good night’s rest. The doctors will still conduct further tests today. He is in good hands. “
Mandela is a cancer survivor and underwent surgery for an enlarged prostate gland in 1985. Six years later, he would go through a series of chemotherapy treatments for prostate cancer, ultimately beating the disease.
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