Growing concerns in SA over Mandela's health

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - Despite assurances from the South African presidency, there are growing concerns in the country over the health of former president and global icon Nelson Mandela, who is undergoing tests at a Pretoria hospital.

Since the 94-year-old was flown to the hospital from his birth place of Qunu in the Transkei Saturday, the Presidency has issued two brief statements, none of which has really elaborated on Mandela's condition.

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj has confirmed that President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela on Sunday and found him to be comfortable and in good hands.

"We continue to make an appeal to the public and the media to respect his privacy and that of his family,’’ Maharaj said.

Mandela, who has been largely out of public view since his appearance at the 2010 Soccer World Cup, has also received only a handful of visitors like former US President Bill Clinton at his Qunu home this year.  

Mandela was admitted to hospital in January last year for an acute chest infection which led to a frenzy of speculation about his health.

Ahmed Kathrada, who spent many years imprisoned with Mandela on Robben Island, Monday said millions of South Africans are thinking about Mandela and praying for him.

“Even in such mundane times as routine hospital visits, you allow South Africans from across the length and breadth of this country to unite in concern for you. May your thoughts dwell on the open fields of Qunu, of South Africa’s children working together to build a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic society,” he said.  

Former president Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela in 1999, said he planned to visit him later Monday.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 10Dec2012

10 december 2012 08:02:07

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