By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA
FILE – In this May 11, 1999 file photo, South African President Nelson Mandela, is photographed in Cape Town, South Africa. Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, was admitted to a hospital on Saturday, March 9, 2013, for a scheduled medical check-up and doctors say there is no cause for “alarm,” the president’s office said. (AP Photo, File)
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former president and anti-apartheid leader, spent a night in a hospital after he was admitted for scheduled tests, the presidency said Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said there were no updates on 94-year-old Mandela’s condition since he went to a hospital in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
In a statement Saturday, Maharaj said the medical tests for the Nobel laureate were scheduled and that doctors have indicated there is no cause for “alarm.”
The African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party, said it wanted to emphasize that the check-up is “routine” and appealed to the media to respect the privacy of Mandela and his family.
“We believe he is in capable and competent hands,” the party said in a statement.
Mandela was hospitalized for nearly three weeks in December before going home on Dec. 26. At that time, he was treated for a lung infection and had a surgical procedure to remove gallstones.
Under South Africa’s white-minority apartheid regime, Mandela spent 27 years in prison before he was released in 1990. He became the nation’s first democratically elected president in 1994 under the banner of the African National Congress. He served one five-year term before retiring.