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‘Mandela still in hospital’

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Nelson

Reuters

Sarah Kunene, 84, walks past murals of (L-R) the late African National Congress (ANC) President Oliver Tambo, the late South African anti-apartheid activist and member of ANC Walter Sisulu and former South African president Nelson Mandela, at a house shop in Soweto December 10, 2012. Mandela remains in hospital.

Former president Nelson Mandela was still receiving treatment in a Pretoria hospital on Saturday morning, a week after being admitted, the presidency said.

“The doctors reported that the former president was comfortable and continues to receive treatment in hospital,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

“There is no truth in the statement that he has been discharged.”

He was responding on a photograph caption in a newspaper which said he was discharged.

Maharaj said doctors had not given any information about when he might go home.

Mandela, 94, was flown to Pretoria from his home in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape.

The presidency said he was suffering from the recurrence of a previous lung infection and was responding to treatment.

Mandela's hospital stay is his longest continuous period in hospital since 2001, when he underwent seven weeks of radiotherapy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was 83 at the time.

In January 2011, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for an acute respiratory infection.

He had contracted tuberculosis while in prison.

Eyewitness News reported on Thursday that Mandela was not receiving treatment at 1 Military Hospital at the Thaba Tshwane Military Base in Pretoria as had been widely reported after Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's interview on Monday.

Mapisa-Nqakula spoke to reporters outside the hospital after seemingly visiting Mandela there.

Since Friday morning, the number of journalists kept increasing at Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria as details of the reported new hospital filtered through.

The presidency said it had not been the government's intention to mislead the public or the media.

Maharaj said he had only stated Mandela had been admitted to a Pretoria hospital.

“It is not part of any strategy or tactic by government to mislead the public. We have never had that intention. We know to keep to the facts and we've been rigorous,” he said in an interview on Talk Radio 702. - Sapa


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