South Africa's Mandela Spends Fourth Day In Hospital

by
Reuters
South Africa's anti-apartheid hero and former president Nelson Mandela spent his fourth day in hospital on Sunday after doctors reported he was making progress and responding to treatment for pneumonia.

 

Nelson MandelaSouth Africa's anti-apartheid hero and former president Nelson Mandela spent his fourth day in hospital on Sunday after doctors reported he was making progress and responding to treatment for pneumonia.
 
Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said he had no fresh update from those treating the 94-year-old Mandela and it was fair to assume the situation was unchanged from Saturday, when doctors reported he was comfortable and breathing without problems.
 
 
"In the absence of an update today, the update of yesterday stands," Maharaj said. Bulletins issued since the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was taken to hospital late on Wednesday have reported him responding well and in "good spirits".
 
Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president in 1994, is revered at home and abroad for leading the struggle against white minority rule, then promoting the cause of racial reconciliation when in power.
 
He has been away from the political scene for at least a decade and has become increasingly frail in his old age.
 
In the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in the sprawling black township of Soweto that Mandela once called home, worshippers attending Easter service prayed for the man seen by many as the father of their nation.
 
"We hear that the government tells us that he's okay, that he's still undergoing treatment for his lung condition, and as I say, we pray that God's healing hand may be upon him," Father Sebastian Russouw said during the service.
 
On Saturday, in their first detailed report of his condition, doctors said Mandela had "developed a pleural effusion which was tapped", meaning they had drained excess fluid from around his lungs.
 
It is his third visit to hospital in four months.
 
Mandela was in hospital briefly earlier this month for a check-up and spent nearly three weeks in hospital in December with a lung infection and after surgery to remove gallstones.
 
He has a history of lung problems dating back to when he contracted tuberculosis as a political prisoner. He spent 27 years in prison on Robben Island and other jails for his attempts to overthrow apartheid rule.