Nelson Mandela will remain in hospital until he has made a full recovery, reveals the Presidency, as doctors say they will not hurry to discharge him.

South Africa’s iconic former president has been in hospital undergoing treatment for various ailments since December 8th, with the presidency announcing that he will remain in hospital for a further period in order to fully recuperate, until the point that doctors are satisfied that he has made a sufficient recovery.

Doctors and the president’s office alike insist there is no cause for panic, and note that Mandela’s conditions and recovery time are all pursuant to his advanced age.

“Doctors are satisfied that the progress he is making is consistent with his age,”  President Zuma’s office announced, adding: “They say there is no crisis, but add that they are in no hurry to send him home just yet until they are satisfied that he has made sufficient progress.”

The 94-year-old former president was admitted to hospital on December 8th to undergo medical tests, which revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection.  Thereafter doctors decided to continue Mandela’s treatment for unrelated ailments, and on December 15th he received surgery to remove gallstones – a procedure from which he is now recuperating.

Given Mandela’s pivotal role in ending apartheid – having negotiated the end to the policy of segregation in South Africa with the President and white leader of the National Party, F.W. de Klerk – South Africa’s population harbours deep affection for the 94-year-old, and significant concern erupts in response to his ailing health.

Madiba – Mandela’s clan name – was also the country’s first black president, responsible for boosting the political party known as the African National Congress (ANC) into power, where it has remained ever since.

The ANC over the weekend held its five-yearly leadership conference in Mangaung, at which current President Zuma was re-elected for another term to lead the party.  This means that Zuma will stand again as the ANC candidate in the country’s general elections billed to take place in 2014.

Zuma’s repeat nomination was lent support by trade unionist turned businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, who accepted a nomination to run as Zuma’s deputy.


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