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Mandela in hospital with collapsed lung (UPDATE)

Anti-apartheid icon is frail but "in no danger," says Mandela Foundation.

Mthembu also appealed to the media “to refrain from making unfounded and unwarranted speculation in relation to Madiba’s health” and to give his family and the hospital privacy.

“We call on all South Africans to remain calm regarding the hospitalization of Madiba and not press any panic buttons, as there is no reason for that whatsoever. We, again, wish to inform all South Africans that if there is any change in the hospitalization of Madiba, including his discharge from hospital, they will be communicated to,” Mthembu said.

Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and one of the world's most revered statesmen, lives in Johannesburg.

He spent 27 years in prison after being arrested for plotting an armed struggle against the apartheid government. His release in 1990 paved the way for the end of white rule and he became president in 1994. He stepped down after one term in power in 1999.

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma won’t be returning from the World Economic Forum in Davos, his spokesman told SAPA yesterday.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was last seen in public at the soccer World Cup Final in July last year, when he was briefly driven around the field on the back of a golf cart.

Close family members, including his wife Graca Machel, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, visited him during the course of Wednesday afternoon, prompting speculation that his condition was worse than initially reported.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu sparked intense debate earlier Wednesday about Mandela's health after he replied to questions from reporters in Cape Town. "I saw him last week," Archbishop Tutu told SAPA. "He was all right — I mean, he's 92, man, you know? And he's frail."

Editor's note: Mandela's Village, GlobalPost's series about Nelson Mandela's home village, describes South Africa's past and points the way toward its future. Where tradition vies with modern leadership. Where Mandela was no saint. Where rural poverty persists. Where Mandela’s legacy inspires future leaders.


Mandela Village Mandela Village Mandela Village

Traditional ways


Rural poverty Road from Qunu