Johannesburg, South Africa (4E) – South African government on Tuesday said that former President Nelson Mandela, who has been in hospital since Saturday, is suffering from a lung infection, adding that he is getting appropriate treatment to which he is responding quite well.
The announcement brought an emotional relief to thousands of his supporters, who were concerned about their anti-apartheid hero’s aging health.
“Doctors have concluded the tests, and these have revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection, for which Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment, and he is responding to the treatment,” a statement from President Jacob Zuma’s office said.
Although it is quite evident that the old statesman would not be around forever, the latest report about his health has raised hopes of his sooner release from the Pretoria military hospital. “The thing is the man is very old, it’s hard to accept he won’t make it, but it’s his age,” said Victor Ncube, a waiter at a busy Johannesburg restaurant.
Victor Brown, a manager with an energy and chemical firm Sasol, believes Mandela is a strong man and hopes his early and fast recovery. Although Mandela is doing well, doctors warned that any infection could be dangerous to the country’s first black president at the age of 94.
“Chest infections are among the most common problems seen in elderly patients but in people of extreme age (it) is always a potentially concerning factor,” said Mark Sonderup, Vice Chairman of the South African Medical Association. Mandela had led South Africa to democracy in 1994.