President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela in the hospital early Sunday, said Mac Maharaj, spokesman for Zuma. "He found him comfortable, and in good care," Maharaj said in an emailed statement. "We continue to appeal to the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family." Madiba is Mandela's clan name.
Mandela, who turned 94 in July, was undergoing tests for an undisclosed condition "consistent with his age" and was doing well, Zuma's office said in a statement yesterday. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate underwent exploratory surgery for an abdominal complaint in February and was hospitalized a year before that for an acute respiratory infection.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison on an island near Cape Town over his fight for black rights and became the country's first black president after apartheid, the official racial segregation policy, ended in 1994. He negotiated a peaceful end to the old regime with leaders of South Africa's white minority government and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He stepped down as president voluntarily in 1999.