South Africa: Mandela has lung infection
FILE - In this file image taken from video, the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. The office of South Africa's president said Saturday, June 8, 2013 that Mandela has been taken to a hospital because of a lung infection. (AP Photo/SABC TV) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
FILE - In this July 2, 2009 file photo, AEG CEO Randy Phillips speaks to members of the media in Los Angeles. Phillips told jurors hearing a negligent hiring lawsuit filed against him and his company by Jacksons mother that he did not believe the company was responsible for the King of Pops death and that he believed the case was a shakedown by the Jackson family during testimony on Tuesday June 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
A worshipper offers weekend prayers as vraious church groups offered weekend prayers for former president Nelson Mandela on a hill overlooking the city in Johannesburg, Saturday, June 8, 2013. Mandela is in "serious but stable" condition after being taken to a hospital to be treated for a lung infection, the government said, prompting an outpouring of concern from admirers of a man who helped to end white racist rule. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
A worshipper offers weekend prayers and prayers for former president Nelson Mandela on a hill overlooking the city in Johannesburg, Saturday, June 8, 2013. Mandela is in "serious but stable" condition after being taken to a hospital to be treated for a lung infection, the government said, prompting an outpouring of concern from admirers of a man who helped to end white racist rule. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
Press gather outisde the hospital in Pretoria, South Africa where it is believed that former president Nelson Mandela was hospitalized with a recuring lunch infection early Saturday, June 8, 2013. A presidential statement said that Mandela was in a serious but stable condition. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Wednesday, July 18, 2012 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa. Mandela was taken to a hospital Saturday to be treated for a recurrence of a lung infection and is in "serious but stable" condition, the president's office said. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam-file)
South Africans yesterday 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, has been in a hospital several times in recent months, with the last discharge coming 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.
Elsewhere in the city, some worshippers prayed for Mandela during an outdoor gathering.
“If the time comes, we wish for him a good way to go,” said Noel Ngwenya, a security officer who was in the congregation.
“During the past few days, former President Nelson Mandela has had a recurrence of lung infection,” said a statement released yesterday from the office of President Jacob Zuma. “This morning at about 1:30 a.m., his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital.”
The statement said Mandela was receiving expert medical care and “doctors are doing everything possible to make him better and comfortable.”
Zuma wished Mandela a quick recovery on behalf of the government and the nation and requested that the media and the public respect the privacy of the former leader and his family, the statement said.
Mandela’s wife, humanitarian activist Graca Machel, canceled an appearance at an international forum on hunger and nutrition in London yesterday, citing “personal reasons,” said Colleen Harris, a spokeswoman for the meeting.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said Machel had canceled her attendance at the London meeting Thursday, and had accompanied Mandela to the hospital yesterday morning, the South African Press Association reported.
“We need to hold our thoughts and keep him in our minds,” Maharaj said. “He is a fighter, he has recovered many times from very serious conditions and he will be with us. Let’s pray for him and help him to get better.”