The 92-year-old anti apartheid Nelson Mandela was trained as a lawyer and went up to becoming the country’s first African law firm with fellow African National Congress stalwart Oliver Tamboo. He then served as the president of South African from 1994 to 1999. He has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. In South Africa, Mandela is often known as Madiba or uTata Madiba, an honorary title adopted by elders of Mandela's clan.
The former South Africa president was taken to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Wednesday for his regular check up. But this visit unusually prolonged to an overnight stay drawing immense media attention.
On Thursday several relatives and friends were seen visiting Mandela, despite being pressed by the media no further details or updates were provided on Mandela’s condition. They also scolded the press for what a party spokesman, Jackson Mthembu, called “unwarranted speculation” about Mr. Mandela’s health.
On Thursday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation had not changed its Wednesday statement that he had been admitted for routine tests and was in good spirits. This silence caused a lot of commotion and criticism amongst people.
“He is in no danger and is in good spirits.”
The department of defense and military veterans is responsible for the health requirements of former presidents. Later that day a convoy of about 20 vehicles had arrived at Mandela’s house in a Johannesburg suburb and a military vehicle with military officials was also seen driving away from the house.
“[Mandela] is comfortable and is well looked after by a good team of medical specialists.” - President Jacob Zuma’s office, Thursday
The Nelson Mandela foundation and the government plead to the public to respect Mr. Mandela’s privacy.
“We urge the media to afford him the dignity and respect that he is entitled to as the country’s founding democratic president, as a national hero and also as a citizen of the republic.”
Friday, January 28, 2011 Nelson Mandela, the beloved but increasingly frail hero of South African Democracy is being discharged from the hospital. Giving a sigh of relief to his people. He was said to be suffering from an “Acute Respiratory Infection.”
At a news briefing on Friday, political and medical reassured the public and the media that there was no need of panic.
“Medically, at present, there is no need to panic…[Mandela had]recently developed an acute respiratory infection… He is stable but will be monitored closely”
“He surprises us on a daily basis with his powers of recovery…He will be discharged and receive home-based care at his home,” - V.J. Ramlakan, surgeon general of the South African military
At a news conference also attended by the deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, authorities gave few details of Mr. Mandela’s infection but said he had not required a ventilator.
Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was discharged from a South African hospital Friday after treatment for an acute respiratory infection, the nation's surgeon general said.
The 92-year-old former president left the hospital in a motorcade that included an ambulance in the middle.
Doctors are happy with his recovery and he will continue to receive treatment at home, said V.J. Ramlakan, the surgeon general.
"We may recall that he suffered from tuberculosis and has had previous respiratory infections," Ramlakan said. "He is also not as mobile as before. And over the last few years, has had to be assisted with movement."
Ramlakan said Mandela handles the "difficulties of old age with the greatest of graces."
Mandela was flown to a Johannesburg hospital on Wednesday from Cape Town, where he was on vacation.
Reports that he was hospitalized sparked concerns worldwide.
South African officials urged citizens to be calm, saying the Mandela "suffers from ailments common to people of his age."
"Medically there is no need to panic," said Kgalema Motlanthe, the deputy president. "Mandela suffers from ... conditions that have developed over years. We may recall that he has suffered from tuberculosis whilst on Robben Island and has had previous respiratory infections."
Mandela was imprisoned for decades at Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town.
The former president rarely makes public appearances.
His last appearance was at the closing ceremonies of the World Cup in South Africa over the summer. He recently released a new memoir, "Conversations With Myself."
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate spent 27 years in prison after being convicted of sabotage and attempts to overthrow the government under South Africa's former apartheid regime.
He was released in 1990 and served as president four years later.