Nelson Mandela Responding to Treatment for Lung Infection

South Africa's 94-year-old icon was hospitalized over the weekend.

Posted: 12/11/2012 10:32 AM EST
Nelson Mandela Has Lung Infection

South African government officials announced Tuesday that former South African President Nelson Mandela is responding to treatment for a lung infection.

Questions about the health of the 94-year-old icon swirled over the weekend after he was flown from his home village of Qunu to a hospital in Pretoria to undergo treatment for an unknown condition. Tuesday marked his fourth day in the hospital and marked his latest heath concern made public following two brief hospitalizations in the past two years.

"Doctors have concluded the tests and these have revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection, for which Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment and he is responding to the treatment," the government said in a statement.

Well wishes for the beloved leader streamed in from around the world during his hospital stay.

Chelsea Clinton tweeted, “Thinking of Madiba and the entire Mandela family - hope Madiba comes home soon.”

Madiba is Mandela’s clan name that many South Africans use to refer to him as a sign of respect.

Others expressed worries about what the loss of Mandela would mean for South Africa.

“It’s really bad, it’s really bad. Because if we lose him, hey, we don’t know what’s going to happen to this country, really,” 33-year-old South African businesswoman Sharon Zinhle told Voice of America. “During the times of Madiba there was no corruption, I think so, there was no corruption. But with this new, ah, the corruption, is too much.”

Mandela served as South Africa's first Black president in 1994 for one five-year term after spending 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule.

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(Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/AP Photo/ Pool, File)

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