South African government says Mandela still in hospital

Reports that former president had been discharged and returned home ‘incorrect’

Former South African president Nelson Mandela, pictured here following a visit to Áras an Uachtaráin to see then Irish president Mary McAleese in 2000, remains in hospital. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Former South African president Nelson Mandela, pictured here following a visit to Áras an Uachtaráin to see then Irish president Mary McAleese in 2000, remains in hospital. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 08:49

Former South African president Nelson Mandela is still in hospital where he has been for three months receiving treatment for a lung infection, the government said on Saturday.

The presidency said reports by some international media that Mr Mandela (95), had been discharged and returned to his home were “incorrect”.

“Madiba is still in hospital in Pretoria, and remains in a critical but stable condition,” it said in a statement, using Mandela’s clan name.

News of his hospitalisation in June with a recurring lung infection attracted worldwide attention for the revered statesman, who is admired as a symbol of struggle against injustice and of racial reconciliation.

Mr Mandela celebrated his 95th birthday in hospital on July 18th, showered with tributes from around the world. He spent nearly three decades in prison before being released and being elected South Africa’s first black president in multi-racial elections in 1994 that ended apartheid rule.

His 27 years in prison under white minority rule included 18 years on the notorious Robben Island penal colony.

His lung infection dates back to his time, when he and other prisoners were forced to work in a limestone quarry.

Agencies