Mandela spends fourth day in hospital

JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela remained in hospital for a fourth day Sunday after South African officials said he was making steady progress following treatment for a recurrence of pneumonia.

The frail 94-year-old, one of the towering figures of modern history, was admitted late Wednesday for his third hospitalisation in four months.

Doctors drained a build-up of fluid, known as a pleural effusion or “water on the lungs”, that had developed from the lung infection.

“This has resulted in him now being able to breathe without difficulty,” President Jacob Zuma’s office said in a statement on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, Zuma’s spokesman said it was too early for another an update on the anti-apartheid icon’s health.

“I have no update to issue this morning. It’s too early. I don’t even know how he spent the night,” Mac Maharaj told AFP.

“I have said he is responding (to treatment), making steady progress.”

It was unclear how long South Africa’s first black president would remain hospitalised.

Mandela’s recent health troubles have triggered an outpouring of prayers but have also seen South Africans come to terms with the mortality of the revered Nobel Peace Prize winner.