SICK MANDELA ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL
Madiba in hospital
FORMER PRESIDENT Nelson Mandela was yesterday admitted to One Military Hospital in Pretoria.
Alarm bells started ringing yesterday when it was revealed that Mandela was hospitalised after what was confirmed by presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj as a long-standing abdominal pain ”. “
A section of the media flocked to the Pretoria hospital while others split to Milpark Hospital into Johannesburg hoping to capture the famous portraits of people filing in the hospital to see the former president.
In Pretoria on Voortrekker road, security was menacing, military police rounded off journalists, took their car number plates and told them to back off from their territory. Beeld photographer Theana Breugem was bundled into a van but released on a warning that she must never set foot on the military s perimeters.
’ The media was only allowed to view the hospital premises next to the Voortrekker Monument from a distance of 300 meters.
To while away time, journalists huddled together from a safe distance gathering whatever morsels of information they could glean from each other.
The hospital road is eerily still, thirsty for people coming through the gates, sirens wailing, convoys the whole nine yard of
– colourful scene.
The only people seen rushing in were military officials. The day was spent between patrols on Voortrekker Road with military police checking if the order to back off has been taken seriously by the media.
The presidency said in a statement that Mandela had a long-standing abdominal complaint that doctors felt needed proper specialist medical attention. We wish him a speedy recovery and “assure him of the love and good wishes of all South Africans and people throughout the world,” the statement said.
Mandela has for some time stopped his public engagements and could not attend the ANC s centenary celebrations or the
’ funeral of his younger sister.
The former president last appeared in public during the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup at Soccer City.
The latest picture of him to be published was in January when ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa went to Qunu his birthplace
– in the Eastern Cape to present him with the
– ANC centenary book.
Mandela was last admitted to hospital in January last year when he spent a few days at Milpark Hospital in Joburg.
His doctor, Surgeon General Vejaynand Ramlakan, said he was suffering from ailments that were common in people of his age but that he was in good spirits.
He said Mandela had a respiratory infec- tion, but was responding well to treatment and would be receiving home-based care.
He is stable, but will be subject to intense “monitoring, he told reporters at the time.
” After his release from hospital, Mandela stayed for a few months in Joburg and then left for Qunu in July. He came back to Joburg last month.
While in Qunu, his family said he was happy and had recovered well.
When the presidency announced Mandela s return to Johannesburg last month, it
’ said the elder statesman was returning to Joburg as routine maintenance had to be
“undertaken at his Qunu home ”.
The presidency has requested respect and privacy for Madiba and his family.