Thursday 21 September 2017

Mandela 'responding to treatment'

Nelson Mandela has been in hospital several times for treatment since December
Nelson Mandela has been in hospital several times for treatment since December
Members of the press gather outisde the hospital in Pretoria where it is believed Nelson Mandela is being treated (AP)
Worshippers pray for Mr Mandela on a hill overlooking the city in Johannesburg at sunset (AP)

Nelson Mandela is responding better to treatment after several days in hospital, says South African president Jacob Zuma.

Mr Zuma told parliament that he is happy with the progress Mr Mandela is making "following a difficult last few days."

Mr Mandela spent a fifth day in a Pretoria hospital, where he is being treated for a recurring lung infection. The 94-year-old former president was hospitalised on Saturday.

The leader of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement spent 27 years in prison during white racist rule. He was freed in 1990, and then embarked on peacemaking efforts during the tense transition that saw the demise of the apartheid system and his own election as South Africa's first black president in 1994.

Mr Mandela has been in hospital four times for treatment since December. His last discharge came 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 years as a prisoner. The bulk of that period was spent on Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town where Mr Mandela and other prisoners spent part of the time toiling in a stone quarry.

Press Association

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