Thursday, January 27, 2011

Government says 'no need to panic' over Mandela hospitalization

JOHANNESBURG—Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was starting his third day in a Johannesburg hospital Friday, but the South African government says there is no need to panic.

In a statement late Thursday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe offered no specifics on why Mandela, 92, was taken to the hospital Wednesday, but said he was undergoing specialized tests.

Motlanthe, acting president while President Jacob Zuma attended the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and then headed to a weekend African Union summit in Ethiopia, referred to Mandela's history of respiratory problems. Mandela contracted tuberculosis during his 27 years in prison.

"There has been mounting concern about the health of the former president Nelson Mandela," Motlanthe said. "Medically there is no need to panic."


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