Skip to main content

Mandela 'responding positively' to treatment in hospital

By Errol Barnett and Faith Karimi, CNN
March 28, 2013 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mandela remains "under treatment and observation," President Jacob Zuma says
  • The anti-apartheid icon also was hospitalized earlier this month
  • At the time, officials said it was only for a routine checkup
  • Mandela, 94, has been treated for a lung infection before

Johannesburg (CNN) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela is "responding positively" to treatment after he was readmitted to a hospital overnight for a recurring lung infection.

President Jacob Zuma's office passed along the doctors' assessment of Mandela, the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon and nation's first black president.

"He remains under treatment and observation in hospital," Zuma said Thursday.

Mandela was conscious when he was taken to the hospital just before midnight Wednesday, Zuma's office said.

It's the second time this month he has been hospitalized. More than two weeks ago, he was taken to a hospital for what officials described as a routine checkup.

Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, died on Thursday, December 5, according to the country's president, Jacob Zuma. Mandela was 95. Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, died on Thursday, December 5, according to the country's president, Jacob Zuma. Mandela was 95.
The evolution of Nelson Mandela
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
The evolution of Nelson Mandela The evolution of Nelson Mandela
2012: Granddaughters: He's doing well
2012: Nelson Mandela back home

Mandela has become increasingly frail over the years, and has not appeared in public since South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010.

"Doctors are attending to him, ensuring that he has the best possible expert medical treatment and comfort," Zuma's office said in an earlier statement Thursday.

"We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family, and to keep them in their thoughts."

"Madiba" is Mandela's clan name, which is widely used in the nation.

Josh Earnest, White House deputy press secretary, said President Barack Obama is being updated on Mandela's health.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the former president and his family," Earnest said.

South Africa: Following Nelson Mandela

Zuma's office did not say to which hospital he was admitted, but renewed calls for his privacy.

Mandela has been treated for the ailment before. He underwent treatment for a lung infection and had surgery to remove gallstones over the Christmas holiday in 2012, one of his longest hospital stays since his release from prison in 1990.

He suffered from tuberculosis during his imprisonment and has battled respiratory infections over the years. He also was treated for an acute respiratory infection in 2011, among other recurrent bouts of illness.

Considered the founding father of South Africa's democracy, Mandela became an international figure when he endured 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid, the country's system of racial segregation.

In 1993, he and then-South African President F.W. de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mandela was elected president a year later, serving only one term, as he had promised.

Despite only rare public appearances in recent years, he retains his popularity and is considered a hero of democracy in the nation. Last year, South Africa launched a new batch of banknotes with a picture of a smiling Mandela on the front, a testament to his iconic status.

Mandela's impact extends far beyond South African borders. After he left office, he was involved in mediating conflicts from Africa to the Middle East.

CNN's Errol Barnett reported from Johannesburg, and Faith Karimi from Atlanta. CNN's Kim Norgaard contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Tichleman 1
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Lionel Messi's ability is not in question -- but will the World Cup final allow him to emerge from another footballing legend's shadow?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
CNN's Ravi Agrawal asks whether Narendra Modi can harness the country's potential to finally deliver growth.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
People walk with their luggage at the Maiquetia international airport that serves Caracas on July 3, 2014. A survey by pollster Datanalisis revealed that 25% of the population surveyed (end of May) has at least one family member or friend who has emigrated from the country. AFP PHOTO/Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
ADVERTISEMENT