March 28, 2013 10:09:22 AM
JOHANNESBURG -- Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa's first black president, has been admitted to a hospital with a recurring lung infection, South Africa said Thursday.
Mandela, 94, has become increasingly frail in recent years and has been hospitalized several times since last year, most recently earlier this month when he underwent what a presidential spokesman described as a "successful" medical test. The Nobel laureate is a revered figure in South Africa, which has honored his legacy of reconciliation by naming buildings and other places after him and printing his image on national banknotes.
"I'm so sorry. I'm sad," said Obed Mokwana, a Johannesburg resident.
The Nobel laureate was admitted to a hospital just before midnight Wednesday "due to the recurrence of his lung infection," the office of President Jacob Zuma said in a statement.
"Doctors are attending to him, ensuring that he has the best possible expert medical treatment and comfort," the statement said.