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‘Mandela may leave hospital by Monday’

Nelson Mandela is not in any danger after his hospitalisation on Saturday and should be released within two days, South African President Jacob Zuma said.

world Updated: Feb 26, 2012 02:11 IST

Nelson Mandela is not in any danger after his hospitalisation on Saturday and should be released within two days, South African President Jacob Zuma said.

"We are happy that he is not in any danger and thank the doctors for their hard work and professionalism. He is receiving good medical care and is expected to be discharged from hospital either tomorrow or Monday," Zuma said in a statement.

“Madiba is fine and fully conscious and the doctors are satisfied with his condition, which they say is consistent with his age,” Zuma said, referring to Mandela by his affectionate clan name.

“He was in good health before admission in hospital but doctors felt the complaint needed a thorough investigation. He underwent a diagnostic procedure as part of his ongoing medical management.”

Zuma’s office said earlier that Mandela has been admitted to hospital for a long-standing abdominal complaint, but relatives and officials have rushed to reassure the nation that his overall health is good.

Well-wishers like Derek Kemper, a 47-year-old emergency services consultant, said they hoped Mandela would soon recover.

Kemper said he fought Mandela's African National Congress, now the country's governing party, as a soldier for the apartheid state. On Saturday, he was touring Soweto, the famed Johannesburg township set aside for blacks under apartheid and still largely black and poor, with a group of other whites. Kemper marveled at how far the country had come, and credited Mandela.

"He had the wisdom to try to reunite the country." Kemper said, speaking in front of a Soweto home where Mandela once lived that has been turned into a museum celebrating Mandela's life.