Nelson Mandela suffers from pneumonia

South Africa worried about the health of national hero Nelson Mandela

The people of South Africa are worried about their former president Nelson Mandela - who was admitted to a hospital in the South African capital of Pretoria last Saturday for a routine check-up. Since he had already been treated in the hospital for abdominal pain in February of this year, the South African population is now watching the current events with concern - even if "nothing serious" could be found at the time.

Because this time it seems to be a little more serious: Mandela is said to be suffering from pneumonia, possibly the result of an earlier lung infection. But, as the former president's office said, Mandela is in good hands and would respond positively to treatment - there is therefore no serious danger to his health.

Facts about Mandela's state of health are denied to the public Already at the beginning of 2011, Mandela's hospital admission worried the South African population: Even then it was said that the purpose of the stay was routine examinations that would not give rise to any more serious fears. However, the state of health, which has obviously been deteriorating for years, always gives cause for concern - also or precisely because diagnoses or facts about Mandela's health are kept strictly away from the public.

Mandela revered as a national hero in South Africa The 94-year-old Mandela, who ruled the country of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 as the first black president, is still very popular worldwide and is considered a national hero in his home country. As a committed leading fighter against the racist apartheid regime in South Africa, he spent a total of 27 years in prison - finally released from prison in 1990, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 together with the then President Frederik de Klerk and became the first black leader in the following year in the history of the country.

In 2004 Mandela finally retired from politics and since 2010 also from public life - after his last appearance at the closing ceremony of the World Cup. Today he lives in seclusion in his home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape Province. (sb)

Picture: Nelson Mandela

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