Mandela likely to spend Christmas in hospital

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FORMER South African President Nelson Mandela will probably spend Christmas Day in hospital because doctors want to be satisfied his health has improved sufficiently before sending him home, it was reported on Sunday.

Report by AP

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said physicians caring for the former South African leader had given no indication of an “imminent discharge” from the hospital in which he is staying in Pretoria, the capital, according to IOL, a South African news website.

“At this stage there is no update on his condition and his doctors have given no indication” about when Mandela could be discharged, IOL quoted Maharaj as saying on Saturday.

Mandela was hospitalised on December 8. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also had gallstone surgery.

Officials have said his condition had improved and that he was responding to treatment. President Jacob Zuma acknowledged several days ago that Mandela’s condition had been serious.

“They (the doctors) 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,” Maharaj said, according to IOL.

“We urge the public to continue supporting Madiba,” he said, using Mandela’s clan name. Maharaj appealed for people to “understand that he is 94 years old and needs extraordinary care”.

The South African Sunday Times also said Mandela was likely to spend Christmas in hospital care, but did not cite a source.

The newspaper quoted Maharaj as saying that rumours of a rapid deterioration in Mandela’s health were “completely false and baseless”.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he was praying for Mandela’s swift recovery.

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