'Routine' Mandela Hospitalization Spawns Frenzy

Former South African president receiving many bedside visits
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2011 10:20 AM CST
'Routine' Mandela Hospitalization Spawns Frenzy
In this June 17, 2010 file photo, former South African President, Nelson Mandela leaves the chapel after attending the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa.   (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool, File)

Nelson Mandela is in the hospital for the second day for what his office claims are routine tests—but his unusually long stay has sparked a media frenzy, especially after news that he’s had numerous visitors, including his ex-wife. The 92-year-old former South African president has rarely been seen since 2004, the AP notes; he has appeared increasingly frail, and his last public appearance was in July, at the World Cup closing ceremony, the New York Times adds.

A radio station reported that a pulmonologist, or respiratory specialist, had seen Mandela, the Telegraph notes. In addition to his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was reportedly crying as she left the hospital, the anti-apartheid leader has had bedside visits from his wife, grandchildren, and senior politicians. Even so, a spokesperson for the African National Congress urged people “not to make unfounded statements, let's remain calm and not press panic buttons because there is no reason to do so."
(More Nelson Mandela stories.)

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