Mandela Marks Week in Hospital


Nelson Mandela on Friday faced a seventh day in hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for a lung infection.

Officials said the ageing statesman's doctors continued to see progress in his condition, sparking rumors that he could be promptly discharged.

The South African government however urged caution.

"The doctors have made no such recommendation or report to the president," Mac Maharaj told Agence France Presse, refusing to speculate on when Mandela would be released.

The comments came amid confusion over where the anti-apartheid icon was being treated.

On Monday the Minister of Defense confirmed he was being cared for by doctors at the One Military hospital in Pretoria.

But amid reports that he has since been moved to the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, an AFP reporter at the site witnessed several state security cars entering.

The apparent change of location prompted allegations that the government misled the public about Mandela's health and whereabouts.

The Heart Hospital bills itself as the first and "only hospital of its kind -- a private, specialized heart hospital -- in South Africa."

The facility also includes a number of other specialized nursing units.

Maharaj denied allegations that the government had prompted the type of speculation it urged the media to avoid.

"It is not part of any strategy or tactics by government to mislead the public. We have never had that intention, we know to keep to the facts, and we have been rigorous," he said.

The 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner was flown from his rural home village of Qunu to Pretoria last Saturday.

The former president who led South Africa to democracy in 1994 has a long history of lung problems dating back decades when he contracted tuberculosis while in prison.

He was previously hospitalized for an acute respiratory infection in January 2011, when he was kept as an inpatient for two nights.

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