Nelson Mandela ‘in serious condition in hospital’

Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital for a lung infection. Picture: AP
Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital for a lung infection. Picture: AP
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FORMER South African president Nelson Mandela remains in a serious condition in hospital, officials confirmed last night.

The 94-year-old, who is being treated for a recurring lung infection, has been in a Pretoria hospital since Saturday.

The news came as retired archbishop Desmond Tutu described the anti-apartheid hero as an “extraordinary gift” to South Africa.

As family members continued to visit Mr Mandela, the South African government announced that his condition was “unchanged”.

A statement from the Cape Town-based foundation founded by and in the names of Archbishop Tutu and his wife Leah to promote peace, said Mr Mandela was “the beloved father of our nation”. It also read: “We offer our thanks to God for the extraordinary gift of Mr Mandela, and wish his family strength.”

The former president has been in hospital several times in recent months where he has previously been treated for pneumonia.

Mr Mandela has been particularly vulnerable to respiratory problems since contracting tuberculosis during his time as a political prisoner on Robben Island, off Cape Town.

South African president Jacob Zuma has continued to attend engagements, but has indicated that he will visit Mr Mandela if doctors advise him to do so.