South Africa’s ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela may have to stay in hospital over Christmas, a presidential aide suggested on Sunday, although he declined to give any update on his current state of health.
The frail 94-year-old former president was admitted to hospital in the capital Pretoria on December 8.
He is receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection and has also had a procedure to remove gallstones.
“We all wish that he could be home for Christmas, but first and foremost he needs to get better,” presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told AFP after press reports he may stay in hospital during the festive season.
“At this stage there is no update on his condition and his doctors have given no indication about when Madiba will be discharged,” Maharaj said, using Mandela’s clan name.
Only President Jacob Zuma’s office is tasked with issuing updates about the health of the revered elder statesman.
Official reports about his treatment have not revealed much information about the seriousness of Mandela’s condition nor details about the sort of treatment he is undergoing.