Former South African president Nelson Mandela was in the hospital in Johannesburg Thursday for what his office said were routine tests.
The 92-year-old anti-apartheid icon undergoes regular hospital checkups. But his latest visit starting Wednesday stretched into an unusually long overnight stay, drawing extraordinary media attention.
Journalists were standing outside Milpark Hospital Thursday, watching relatives and friends enter for visits and awaiting more details on Mandela's condition, but no further information was released.
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, drawing criticism from some quarters that the silence was fuelling speculation.
Earlier on Thursday a convoy of at least 20 vehicles had arrived at Mandela's house in a Johannesburg suburb. A military vehicle with military officials was also seen driving away from the house.
The department of defence and military veterans is responsible for the health requirements of former presidents.
Mr Mandela went on to train as a lawyer and later established the country's first African law firm with fellow African National Congress stalwart Oliver Tambo.
As the firm developed, his improved means meant he was seen as a dandy – someone whom Anthony Sampson, his friend and biographer, said he "underestimated" as a political firebrand: "He seemed too flashy and vain, with his immaculate suits and his wide smile."