Nelson Mandela, 94-year-old the former South African president and anti-apartheid fighter, is back in the hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, as a result of a recurring lung infection.
His presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said he was rushed to the hospital early Saturday morning. Mandela’s condition is now described as “serious but stable.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, South Africa’s first black president has been hospitalized several times over the past few months for the lung problems. In addition to his age, Nelson Mandela is particularly susceptible to breathing problems because he caught tuberculosis during the 27 years he was in prison because of his opposition to apartheid.
The miserable cell near Cape Town was damp and cramped, creating the perfect conditions for the spread of the contagious disease. Mandela has said that he was completely cured of TB after about four months, but his lungs are still somewhat fragile.
Current president of South Africa Jacob Zuma released this statement:
“During the past few days, former President Nelson Mandela has had a recurrence of lung infection. This morning at about 1.30a.m., his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital.”
Apartheid was an unpopular system of racial segregation enforced in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. It kept the black inhabitants — the overwhelming majority of the nation’s population — from enjoying the same civil rights and social services as the white minority.
After a long fight, including the 27-year prison stint at Robben Island and others, Nelson Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994.
The new hospitalization has admirers of the civil rights hero greatly concerned, especially because of his age.
Spokesman Maharaj said: “The most important thing is that we should realize that this is a life that we need to celebrate, even when he’s with us. And we will celebrate it, even when he is not with us.”
Get well soon, Nelson Mandela.
[Nelson Mandela and others photo by South Africa The Good News via Wikimedia Commons]