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An acute respiratory infection led to Nelson Mandela’s hospitalisation for two days, but the former president was in good spirits on discharge.
NELSON Mandela is out of hospital – the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate was admitted to Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital on 26 January for an acute respiratory infection.


Madiba is doing well: Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe Madiba is doing well: Deputy President Kgalema MotlantheThe good news was announced at a press conference at the clinic on Friday, 28 January. It was the first conference held regarding Mandela since his hospitalisation earlier in the week. It was reported earlier that he was undergoing medical tests.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe explained that Mandela was “receiving the best treatment from the best available health professionals in South Africa”.

He reassured the public that the former president was well, saying: “There is no need to panic; there is no need to fear for Madiba’s health. He is in good hands.”

One medical professional responsible for his care is the surgeon-general of the South African National Defence Force, Lieutenant General Vijay Ramlakan, who said: “Given the medical history of our former president, his health over the last few years and his age, these tests are necessary in order to provide optimal health care to him.

“These tests have been carried out at various facilities over the years, and are a normal part of his medical regiment. Such tests are considered routine for a patient of his profile.”

Mandela would now receive home-based care equal to that which he would have received in hospital, said Ramlakan.

It is not the first time Mandela has been admitted to hospital for similar respiratory problems. He contracted tuberculosis while imprisoned on Robben Island and was admitted to Milpark eight years ago for a respiratory tract infection.

“Dr Mandela suffers from diseases common to people of his age, as well as conditions which have developed over the years for which he receives chronic medication. He recently developed an acute respiratory infection for which he received treatment,” said Ramlakan.


A get-well message for Madiba from McAuley Primary School learnersA get-well message for Madiba from McAuley House School learnersWith the only official word up until the briefing being that Mandela had been admitted for routine tests, the media – and the general public – were rife with speculation regarding his health.

Motlanthe admitted that the failure to keep the public informed about the former president’s condition could have been handled better. However, both he and Ramlakan assured the press that they would give regular updates on Mandela's health.

“From now onwards, we will keep you posted if there are any developments of whatever kind. We should remain calm, and continue with our prayers and well wishes, that Madiba should be with us to celebrate his 93rd birthday in July and beyond,” Motlanthe said.

Motlanthe spoke of his visit with Mandela prior to the conference, saying he was awake, in good spirits and very happy to see him.

Ramlakan also explained that despite Mandela’s old age and the ailments with which it came, his “amazing positive attitude allows him to cope with the difficulties of old age with the greatest of graces".

Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, expressed his gratitude to the medical staff for caring for his grandfather and for the well wishes and prayers the family had received.

Mandela left the hospital shortly after the press conference and returned to his home in Houghton, where he will continue to be closely monitored.

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