Ill Mandela 'able to breathe without problems' – Zuma
SOUTH Africa's anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela is comfortable and able to breathe without problems as he continues to respond to treatment in hospital for a recurrence of pneumonia, President Jacob Zuma's office said yesterday.
After the revered 94-year-old statesman and former president spent a third night in hospital, Mr Zuma's office said doctors had drained excess fluid from his lungs to tackle the infection.
"This has resulted in him now being able to breathe without difficulty. He continues to respond to treatment and is comfortable," the statement added.
In the first detailed mention of Mandela's medical condition since his latest hospitalisation – the third in four months – the presidency said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate had "developed a pleural effusion which was tapped".
Previous bulletins since he was taken to hospital on Wednesday have reported him as being in "good spirits".
Global figures, such as President Barack Obama, have sent get well messages and South Africans have included Mandela in their prayers over the Easter weekend.
Mandela's fragile health has been a concern for years as he has withdrawn from the public eye. He mostly stays at his homes in Johannesburg and in Qunu, the rural village in the Eastern Cape province, near where he was born.