MESSAGES of support have poured in for Nelson Mandela’s family as news broke the former statesman had been re-admitted to hospital.
Mandela was admitted to an undisclosed hospital on Wednesday before midnight.
This is the third time in six months the ailing Madiba has been hospitalised.
Yesterday presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said he had been admitted due to a recurrence of a lung infection.
“Doctors are attending to him, ensuring he has the best possible expert medical treatment and comfort,” said Maharaj.
The latest bulletin on his health said that Mandela was “responding positively” to the treatment he was undergoing.
“He remains under treatment and observation in hospital,” the statement from the Office of the Presidency said.
President Jacob Zuma wished him a speedy recovery. “We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts,” Zuma said.
Zuma said they had full confidence in the medical team, who would do everything possible to ensure Madiba’s recovery.
Earlier this month Mandela spent 24 hours in a Pretoria hospital in what his grandson Mandla Mandela said was a routine check-up.
Yesterday Madiba’s other grandson, Ndaba Mandela, said the family had been to see him and there was no reason for alarm.
“I can’t say much at this stage; all I can say is there is no need for alarm. He was not rushed to hospital; he was taken to hospital.
“They are just worried the lung infection is not going away. They want to make sure everything is okay. It’s nothing serious.
“They need him in hospital to do tests they cannot do at home,” Ndaba said.
Phumla Matshaya , spokeswoman of the AbaThembu royal house, said it was difficult to comment at this time.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu called on South Africans and the world to keep Madiba in their prayers.
“We are confident the treatment will be successful, as he is in professional and competent hands,” he said. “During these trying times we wish president Mandela well and for his family to be strong. We also appeal to all South Africans to afford Madiba’s family their deserved privacy.”
In December last year Mandela spent 18 days at an undisclosed hospital after surgery to remove gallstones.
In January, the presidency said Mandela had made a full recovery from the surgery.
In February 2012, he was admitted to hospital with a stomach ailment. At the time, the presidency said Mandela had undergone a diagnostic procedure to investigate the cause of a long-standing abdominal complaint.
In January 2011, Mandela was taken to Milpark Hospital for routine tests relating to respiratory problems.
Mandela’s last major public appearance was in July 2010, at the final of the Fifa World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.
Since then he has divided his time between Johannesburg and his ancestral village of Qunu. He has a long history of lung problems, dating back to when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid . — Additional reporting by Sapa — firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com