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Nelson Mandela (BBC)
Nelson Mandela (BBC)

Nelson Mandela “Hospitalized”

(DP-News - agencies)

JOHANNESBURG- Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela is in a stable condition after undergoing surgery, the BBC reported Saturday.

Nelson Mandela was hospitalized for an existing abdominal condition, the office of South Africa’s current president, Jacob Zuma, announced earlier on Saturday.

“Madiba has had a long-standing abdominal complaint, and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention,” the statement said, using Mr. Mandela’s honorific clan name.



A spokesman for Mr. Zuma, Mac Maharaj, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Mandela’s admission to the hospital had been planned in advance.



“It was not an emergency admission, it was a preplanned admission,” Mr. Maharaj said.



Nelson Mandela, who battled apartheid and spent 27 years imprisoned by the white minority government, is 93 years old, and has been in virtual seclusion for the past two years, after his retirement from public life eight years ago. His health is closely watched; a hospitalization in January 2011 set off a panic across South Africa.



Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with South Africa’s then-president, F. W. de Klerk, in 1993, and elected the country’s first black president in 1994.



Mandela’s last major public appearance was in 2010, at the final game of the World Cup in Johannesburg. For the past year he has spent most of his time in Qunu, the Eastern Cape village where he spent most of his childhood.



Rumors about Mr. Mandela’s health have swirled for years, even in the earliest days after his release from prison in 1990, when the apartheid regime was crumbling and earnest talks between the African National Congress and the ruling National Party began. His lack of bitterness toward the white minority made him a global symbol of reconciliation, tolerance and forbearance.

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