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Nelson Mandela hospitalized for medical tests

Nelson Mandela's hospitalization is "routine" and "no cause for alarm," said South African President Jacob Zuma.

nelson mandela anc centenaryEnlarge
This photograph of Nelson Mandela was released by the Mandela Foundation on the eve of his 92nd birthday. Mandela made a rare television appearance on May 30, 2012, while celebrating the African National Congress' centenary. (Debbie Yazbek/Nelson Mandela Foundation) (Courtesy)

Nelson Mandela, the 94-year-old former president of South Africa, has been hospitalized for medical tests. 

South Africa's current leader Jacob Zuma issued a statement about Mandela, also known by his Xhosa clan name Madiba, reassuring the population that such hospital visits are "consistent with his age." 

He also made assurances that Mandela is doing well and that there is "no cause for alarm." 

“We wish Madiba all the best," said President Zuma in the statement. "The medical team is assured of our support as they look after and ensure the comfort of our beloved founding President of a free and democratic South Africa." 

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Mandela is one of South Africa's most revered anti-apartheid activists, and was imprisoned for nearly three decades before he became South Africa's first fully democratically elected president in 1994, the Associated Press reported

GlobalPost's South Africa correspondent Erin Conway-Smith notes that rumors about Mandela's health flare up now and again. The ailing former leader was last hospitalized in February, and was treated for a serious chest infection in January 2011, BBC News reported

Mandela's 2011 hospitalization in particular sparked a frenzy of worry among South Africans, prompting leaders to promise to keep the public better-informed about Madiba's health. 

More from GlobalPost: Mandela's release from hospital calms South Africa

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/121208/nelson-mandela-hospitalized