South Africa: Nelson Mandela Has Lung Infection

Source: AP / Newsday

JOHANNESBURG — South Africans on Saturday said their thoughts were with former President Nelson Mandela, who was in “serious but stable” condition after being taken to a hospital to be treated for a recurring lung infection.

Mandela, who is 94 years old, was treated in a hospital several times in recent months, with the last discharge coming on April 6 after doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and drained fluid from his lung area. He has been particularly vulnerable to respiratory problems since contracting tuberculosis during his 27-year imprisonment under apartheid.

A small girl and her father stood outside Mandela’s Johannesburg home with a stone on which was written a get-well message for Mandela, who helped end white racist rule and became the country’s first black president in all-race elections in 1994. A young boy brought a bouquet of flowers that he handed over to guards at the house.

On April 29, state television broadcast footage of a visit by Zuma and other ANC leaders to Mandela at his Johannesburg home. Zuma said at the time that Mandela was in good shape, but the footage – the first public images of Mandela in nearly a year – showed him silent and unresponsive, even when Zuma tried to hold his hand.

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