Mandela Undergoes Gallstone Surgery, Remains in Hospital

The icon has now been hospitalized for 10 consecutive days.

Posted: 12/17/2012 10:38 AM EST

(Photo: REUTERS/Alexander Joe/Pool)

Former South African president Nelson Mandela remained hospitalized for the 10th consecutive day Monday after undergoing a gallstone removal operation and receiving treatment for a lung infection last week.

Government officials say the operation was successful and that the 94-year-old leader was recovering well.

Mandela was admitted to the hospital Dec. 8 in the country’s capital, Pretoria. Although he has had a history of lung problems throughout his lifetime, his latest hospital stay has been fraught with worry and suspicion over the ailing icon’s health.

At a convention for the African National Congress political party Sunday, President Jacob Zuma and nearly 4,500 delegates took time to honor Mandela by singing an apartheid-era struggle song.

The leader’s surgery and extended hospital stay kept him from attending the Xhosa initiation ceremony of his grandson, Bambatha Mandela. The ukwaluka ceremony marks the culmination of the Xhosa people’s rites of passage tradition where young men travel to the bush to learn about the culture and undergo a circumcision carried out by a traditional surgeon.

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