President Jacob Zuma of South Africa assured South Africans and the entire African continent that Nelson Mandela is treated for recurrence of a lung infection and is responding positively to treatment.
President Zuma told the BBC African Service that people must not panic and that the former president was doing very well so far in hospital.
“Of course I have been saying to people, you should bear in mind Madiba is no longer that young and if he goes for check-ups every now and again, I don’t think people must be alarmed about it. I would like to really say the country must not panic,” Mr. Zuma said.
The 94-year-old former President of South Africa was admitted to hospital before midnight on Wednesday and it caused people to be worried amid rumors that his condition is deteriorating.
He spent 18 days in hospital in December undergoing similar treatment for a lung infection and gallstones.
But when President Zuma was asked if people should prepare for if something happen, President Zuma said: “In Zulu, when someone passes away who is very old, people say he or she has gone home. I think those are some of the things we should be thinking about.”
But President Zuma stressed that Mr. Mandela had been able to handle the situation “very well” so far and that is a good sign.”Very few outstanding personalities in the world live to his level,” he said.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama sent his best wishes on late Thursday to the former South African President and described him as an inspiration to many others.
“He is as strong physically as he’s been in character and in leadership over so many decades, and hopefully he will … come out of this latest challenge, “President Obama told reporters in Washington.
“When you think of a single individual that embodies the kind of leadership qualities that I think we all aspire to, the first name that comes up is Nelson Mandela. And so we wish him all the very best,” President Obama added.
Mr. Mandela is regarded by many South Africans as the father of the nation for leading the struggle against apartheid.
Mr. Mandela was also imprisoned for 27 years by the then South African apartheid government and later became the nation’s first black president in 1994 and stepped down five years later.
Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News