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Nelson Mandela has lung infection

December 11, 2012 5:45 pm

South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela is being treated for a lung infection, the president’s office has said.

This is the first time officials have revealed why Mr Mandela, 94, was rushed to a military hospital in the capital, Pretoria, on Saturday.

Tests showed a “recurrence of a previous lung infection”, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

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Mr Mandela is responding to his treatment, Mr Maharaj added.

News of the hospital stay has prompted much concern in South Africa.

The former president is regarded by most South Africans as the father of the nation, having inspired them to fight for democracy.

He led the struggle against white-minority rule before being elected the first black president in democratic elections in 1994.

Despite being imprisoned for 27 years by the apartheid government, after his release he forgave his former enemies and urged South Africans of all races to work together and seek reconciliation.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

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