Mandela in ‘serious’ condition in hospital

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Former South African president Nelson Mandela looks on as he celebrates his birthday at his house in Qunu

By Ed Cropley

Former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela was in a “serious but stable” condition on Saturday after being taken to hospital with a recurrence of a lung infection, the government said.

The 94-year-old, who became the first black leader of Africa’s biggest economy in 1994 after historic all-race elections, has been in hospital three times since December. He has been battling the infection for a few days, the government said in a statement.

“This morning at about 1:30 a.m. (2330 GMT) his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital. He remains in a serious but stable condition,” it said.

The government’s choice of words, in particular the use of “serious”, was clear cause for concern to South Africa’s 53 million people, for whom Mandela remains a potent symbol of the struggle against decades of white-minority rule.

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Source: Chicago Tribune