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Nelson Mandela suffers recurrence of lung infection

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated for a recurring lung infection. South African authorities gave few details about his illness, but have now said the 94-year-old is responding well to treatment. NBC's Rohit Kachroo reports.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has suffered a recurrence of a lung infection, according to a government statement Tuesday.


Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital on Saturday for medical tests, although the government said then that there was no cause for alarm.

A statement was posted Tuesday on the South African president’s website providing an update on his condition.

“Doctors have concluded the tests, and these have revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection, for which Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment and he is responding to the treatment,” it said.

“President [Jacob] Zuma thanks the public for continuous support to former President Mandela and his family at this time,” it added.

From prisoner to liberator, Nelson Mandela's fight for equality in South Africa serves as a shining example of justice and peace. Here's a look at the pivotal moments in the life of South Africa's first black president.

The Saturday statement said Mandela would receive treatment from time to time that was "consistent with his age."

Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president after the country's first all-race elections in 1994, was admitted to hospital in February because of abdominal pain but released the following day after a keyhole examination showed there was nothing seriously wrong with him.

He has since spent most of his time in his ancestral home in Qunu, a village in the impoverished Eastern Cape province.

His frail health prevents him from making any public appearances in South Africa, although in the last few months he has continued to receive high-profile visitors, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

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View images of civil rights leader Nelson Mandela, who went from anti-apartheid activist to prisoner to South Africa's first black president.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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