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Officials: Nelson Mandela has lung infection

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 11, 2012 at 7:22 a.m.

former-south-african-president-nelson-mandela-leaves-the-chapel-after-attending-the-funeral-of-his-great-granddaughter-zenani-mandela-in-johannesburg-in-this-june-17-2010-file-photo

Former South African President, Nelson Mandela leaves the chapel after attending the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela in Johannesburg in this June 17, 2010, file photo.

— South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela is suffering from a recurring lung infection and is responding to medical treatments, the nation’s presidency said Tuesday.

The ailing Mandela, 94, has been hospitalized since Saturday for medical tests at 1 Military Hospital near South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.

The announcement ended speculation about what was troubling the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

Government officials had declined repeatedly to say what caused the nation’s military, responsible for Mandela’s care, to hospitalize the leader over the past few days.

That caused growing concern in South Africa, a nation of 50 million people that largely reveres Mandela for being the nation’s first democratically elected president who sought to bring the country together after centuries of racial division.

The tests Mandela underwent at the hospital detected the lung infection, said presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj in a statement.

“Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment and he is responding to the treatment,” Maharaj said, referring to Mandela by his clan name as many do in South Africa in a sign of affection.

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