June 10 - Nelson Mandela’s condition is unchanged, a South African presidential spokesman says, as the country’s former president remains in hospital for a third day. Sunita Rappai reports.
Former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela - seen here in healthier times almost 20 years ago. The iconic 94-year-old - known affectionately by his clan name of Madiba - spent a third day in Pretoria's Mediclinic Heart Hospital on Monday, where his condition has been described as serious. Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Mandela's condition remained the same. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON, MAC MAHARAJ, SAYING: "Former president Nelson Mandela remains in hospital and his condition is unchanged. He was admitted to hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning the 8th of June with a lung infection and president Zuma would like to reiterate his call to South Africa to pray for Madiba and his family in these difficult times." This is Mandela's fourth hospital stay since December and the use of the word 'serious' to describe his condition has intensified concerns about his health. The former president has a history of lung problems dating back to his time on the wind-swept Robben Island prison camp near Cape Town. He spent nearly three decades there for conspiring to overthrow the apartheid government before being released in 1990. Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994. His last public appearance was at the final of the soccer World Cup in Johannesburg in 2010.