Mandela spends night in hospital

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JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – South Africa’s first black president and Nobel peace prize laureate Nelson Mandela spent the night in hospital, where he was admitted to undergo tests, officials said Sunday.

President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman and former Mandela prison mate Mac Maharaj refused to give details early Sunday said he would give an update when doctors issue a report.

It was the second time the 94-year-old and increasingly frail Mandela was hospitalised this year.

The South African government said the anti-apartheid icon was doing well Saturday after he was taken in for tests “consistent with his age” and insisted there was “no cause for alarm”.

Officials have refused to give more details about his condition or say which hospital he was at, although local media speculated he was at 1 Military Hospital on the outskirts of the capital Pretoria.

The revered statesman has not appeared in public since South Africa hosted the Football World Cup final in 2010.

Madiba, as he is affectionately known by South Africans, has all-but retired from public life, choosing to live in his childhood hometown of Qunu in the rural Eastern Cape.

His last hospitalisation was in February when he spent a night in hospital for a minor exploratory procedure to investigate persistent abdominal pain.

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