Mandela to miss opening of World Conference Against Racism

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- South Africa's former president, Nelson Mandela, said Thursday he would not open the UN World Conference Against Racism at the end of August because of cancer treatment.
He started radiotherapy treatment last week at a Johannesburg clinic.
Mandela's physician, Louis Gecelter, remarked after the first treatment session that he tolerated the treatment beautifully.
"His response has been very good.
He is such an optimistic and compliant patient".
Gecelter said last week that the tumour had been "picked up by fluke" in a biopsy in July and that treatment would not necessarily slow down the former president.
But the octogenarian world statesman, whose ailment has been described as "lower grade prostate cancer", said he would not be able to open the Durban summit.
Zelda la Grange, Mandela's personal assistant, said until the cancer treatment was over, the former president would keep a light schedule.
"I am going to be on top of this little development," said Mandela from his Houghton home in Johannesburg.

02 august 2001 21:15:00




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