Soweto worshippers gather to pray for Nelson Mandela as anti-apartheid leader spends second day in military hospital

Worshippers gather to pray for Nelson Mandela as anti-apartheid leader spends second day in military hospital

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UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 9 December 2012

The continued uncertainty about Mr Mandela's health saw worshippers gather yesterday morning at the Regina Mundi Catholic church in Johannesburg to pray for the leader

The continued uncertainty about Mr Mandela's health saw worshippers gather yesterday morning at the Regina Mundi Catholic church in Johannesburg to pray for the leaderr

Fears remained yesterday over the health of Nelson Mandela as he spent a second day in a military hospital with an undisclosed illness.

President Jacob Zuma visited Mr Mandela yesterday morning at the hospital in Pretoria and found the 94-year-old to be ‘comfortable and in good care’, a statement from his office said.

However, no other details were offered on Mr Mandela, or on the nature of the unspecified medical ‘tests’ he had undergone since entering the hospital on Saturday.

The former anti-apartheid leader needs medical attention ‘from time to time which is consistent with his age,’ the statement added.

The continued uncertainty about Mr Mandela’s health saw worshippers gather yesterday morning at the Regina Mundi Catholic church in the Soweto area of Johannesburg to pray for the leader.

The church was a centre of anti-apartheid protests and funerals.

Mr Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule, became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and served one five-year term.

He later retired from public life to live in his remote village of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape area, and last made a public appearance when his country hosted the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.

In February, Mr Mandela spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complaint.

In January 2011, however, he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection. He was discharged days later.

Nelson Mandela, who spent a second day in the military hospital, pictured, needs medical attention 'from time to time which is consistent with his age,' according to a statement of the office of South African president Jacob Zuma

Nelson Mandela, who spent a second day in the military hospital, pictured, needs medical attention 'from time to time which is consistent with his age,' according to a statement of the office of South African president Jacob Zuma

The president visited Mr Mandela yesterday morning at the hospital in Pretoria and found the 94-year-old to be 'comfortable and in good care'

The president visited Mr Mandela yesterday morning at the hospital in Pretoria and found the 94-year-old to be 'comfortable and in good care'