Pretoria - South Africans say that they're worriedly awaiting further word about former President Nelson Mandela who has been hospitalised.

On Sunday morning, worshippers gathered at the Regina Mundi Catholic church in the Soweto area of Johannesburg to pray for the frail 94-year-old icon. The church was a centre of anti-apartheid protests and funerals.

President Jacob Zuma said in a statement on Saturday that Mandela had been admitted to a hospital in Pretoria for tests. The military has taken over caring for the aging leader since he had a respiratory infection in 2011.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule. He became the country’s first black president in 1994 and served one five-year term. He's since retired from public life. - Sapa-AP