Nelson Mandela hospitalised after stomach complaint

Johannesburg: Former South African President Nelson Mandela, 93, was hospitalised Saturday after doctors advised specialist medical attention for a long-standing abdominal complaint.

“Former President Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital on 25th February 2012,” the Daily Telegraph quoted South African President Jacob Zuma as saying.

“Madiba has had a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention.”

The health of the increasingly frail anti-apartheid icon, who is affectionately known as Madiba, had sparked national fears after he was taken to hospital early last year following an acute respiratory infection.

The most likely ailments were an ulcer, colitis or a hernia, a medical source said.

Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj said the hospital admission was pre-planned and “not a major issue”.

“This is a long-standing complaint and it’s not as if he has just gone in suddenly in an emergency, it has been pre-planned,” he said.

Ndileka Mandela, the daughter of Mandela’s eldest son, Thembi, said the family was not unduly concerned.

“When a person of that age is admitted to hospital for a check-up, you can never know,” she said.

“All of us with grandparents know that for people at the age, things can be touch and go.”

Mandela last appeared in public at the final of the football World Cup hosted by South Africa in July 2010.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, a year before he was elected the country’s first black President in South Africa’s first all-race vote. He served one term before stepping down in 1999.