Nelson Mandela Admitted to Pretoria Hospital
Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Sources: AP-Sky News-iol News
South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela was admitted to a military hospital Saturday for medical tests, though the nation’s president told the public there was “no cause for alarm” over the 94-year-old icon’s health.
The Boy From the Transkei
The rolling green hills of the rural Transkei (see map) is the place Mandela thinks of as home; it is there he has built his retirement house. Growing up in the royal kraal of the Madiba clan, Mandela was groomed to be advisor to the King of Thembus.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”~Nelson Mandela
The rest of the world knows him as Nelson Mandela. We, as South Africans, choose to call him Madiba, his Xhosa clan name.
The statement issued by President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman said that Mandela was doing well and was receiving medical care “which is consistent for his age.” The statement offered no other details.
Former president Nelson Mandela‘s hospitalization has left many of his associates in the dark, it was reported on Sunday.Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesman Sello Hatang told City Press he was unaware of Mandela’s admission to a hospital in Pretoria for tests on Saturday.
“They have issued a press release?” he asked.
Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was also not made been aware of the hospitalisation, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa told the newspaper. They had attended a soccer match together.Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was to have visited Mandela in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, but the visit was cancelled at the last minute.
“City Press further understands that the airplane that was supposed to carry Motlanthe to Qunu was reassigned to fly medical personnel to attend to Mandela,” the newspaper wrote.
An SA National Defence Force (SANDF) aircraft crashed in the Drakensberg in bad weather last week.
According to Beeld newspaper, the flight had gone ahead despite the weather, because it was carrying medicine for Mandela.
The SA Air Force has denied the claims.
The presidency said on Sunday it would issue periodic updates on Mandela’s condition. – Sapa
Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule, became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and served one five-year term. He later retired from public life to live in his village of Qunu, and last made a public appearance when his country hosted the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.
“We wish Madiba all the best,” Zuma said in the statement, using Mandela’s clan name. “The medical team is assured of our support as they look after and ensure the comfort of our beloved founding president of a free and democratic South Africa.”
While the government sought to reassure South Africans about Mandela’s health, he remains viewed as a father figure to many in this nation of 50 million people. Each hospital trip raises the same worries about the increasingly frail former leader of the African National Congress — that the man who helped bring the nation together is slowly fading away.
In February, Mandela spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complaint. In January 2011, however, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection. He was discharged days later.
Mandela contracted tuberculosis during his years in prison. He also had surgery for an enlarged prostate gland in 1985.
While Zuma’s statement offered no further details about who would provide medical attention for Mandela, the nation’s military has taken over caring for the aging leader since the 2011 respiratory infection. At 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria on Saturday night, the facility that previously cared for Mandela in February, everything appeared calm, without any additional security present.
Mac Maharaj, a presidential spokesman, declined to say whether Mandela had been flown by the military from Qunu to Pretoria. He also declined to say what the tests were for.
“It’s quite normal at his age to be going through those tests,” Maharaj told The Associated Press.
Mandela’s hospitalization comes just days after the crash of a military aircraft flying on an unknown mission near Mandela’s rural home in which all 11 onboard were killed.
The plane was flying to a military air base in Mthatha, which is about 30 kilometers (17 miles) north of Qunu. Military officials declined to say whether those on board had any part in caring for Mandela.
Associated Press writers Thomas Phakane in Pretoria, South Africa, and Andrew Meldrum in Johannesburg contributed to this report.