Madiba in hospi­tal

Sunday World - - Front Page - MOIPONE MALEFANE and MADALA THEPA

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.

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