Nelson Mandela in 2008 at his 90th birthday celebrations, flanked by former president Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma. Picture: THE TIMES
Nelson Mandela in 2008 at his 90th birthday celebrations, flanked by former president Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma. Picture: THE TIMES

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma visited former president Nelson Mandela in hospital on Sunday and found him “comfortable, and in good care”, the Presidency said.

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement that Mr Mandela was admitted to the hospital, in Pretoria, on Saturday for “medical attention”.  He said Mr Zuma visited Mr Mandela on Sunday morning.

In a statement on Saturday, Mr Maharaj said Mr Mandela had been admitted “to undergo tests”.

“As said before, former president Mr Mandela will receive medical attention from time to time which is consistent with his age,” Mr Maharaj said at the time. He said there was no cause for alarm.

On Sunday Mr Maharaj again appealed to the media and to the public to respect the privacy of Mr Mandela and his family.

It was the second time the 94-year-old and increasingly frail Mr Mandela was hospitalised this year.

Officials have refused to give more details about his condition or say which hospital he was at, although local media speculated he was at 1 Military Hospital on the outskirts of Pretoria.

The revered statesman has not appeared in public since South Africa hosted the Football World Cup final in 2010.

Mr Mandela has all-but retired from public life, choosing to live in his childhood hometown of Qunu in the rural Eastern Cape.

His last hospitalisation was in February when he spent a night in hospital for a minor exploratory procedure to investigate persistent abdominal pain.

In January 2011, Mr Mandela was admitted for a chest infection, sparking public panic and a media frenzy as the government and Mr Mandela’s charitable foundation refused to release information on his condition.

Sapa-AFP