Former South African President Nelson Mandela is responding to treatment for pneumonia as he remains hospitalized for a seventh day.
Mandela, 94, remains at an undisclosed hospital in Pretoria, Mac Maharaj, a spokesman for President Jacob Zuma, said in a phone interview today.
South Africa’s first black president was admitted to the hospital before midnight on March 27 to treat pneumonia, with doctors performing a procedure to drain liquid from his lungs during the weekend. Mandela has been hospitalized three times since December, including a scheduled check-up last month.
Zuma said in a pre-recorded interview broadcast on CNBC Africa yesterday that South Africans shouldn’t have a “lot of anxiety” regarding Mandela’s health. The country must “take it easy” and the former president will eventually return to his home, he said.
Mandela served as president for five years after the African National Congress in 1994 won the first elections since the end of all-white, minority rule. He spent 27 years in prison for opposing apartheid, most of it spent on Robben Island where he contracted tuberculosis.
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