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Mandela still hospitalized but recovering

Dec. 19, 2012 at 10:48 AM
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PRETORIA, South Africa, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was recovering from a lung infection and gallstones Wednesday, officials said.

Doctors said they were satisfied with Mandela's recovery, but added they "are in no hurry to send him home just yet until they are satisfied that he has made sufficient progress," South African President Jacob Zuma said in a statement.

Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital 12 days ago where he was treated for a lung infection and underwent surgery for gallstones.

Zuma called for the public to understand the revered 94-year-old Mandela "needs extraordinary care."

"If he spends more days in [the] hospital, it is because that necessary care is being provided," Zuma said.

In February, Mandela, the country's first black president, was hospitalized for tests to address a chronic stomach complaint, the government said at the time. In January 2011, he was hospitalized for an acute respiratory infection.

Mandela retired from public life years ago, and was last seen publicly during the World Cup soccer tournament held in South Africa in 2010.

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