Johannesburg, Feb 26: South Africa's much-loved leader Nelson Mandela underwent a diagnostic surgery but is “fine and fully conscious” and might very well go home tomorrow, officials said today allaying concerns over the 93-year-old anti-apartheid icon's health.
The former president's health has witnessed a decline in recent years, and any development on this front is keenly followed in the country and across the world.
Mandela was yesterday admitted to a hospital where he underwent a laparoscopy for a longstanding abdomen related ailment.
Informing about the procedure that involves inserting a tiny camera through the abdomen to perform an internal examination, Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the elderly statesman was “as fine as can be at his age”.
Sisulu denied reports that Mandela had been operated for hernia but said he had been suffering from “ongoing discomfort” on a regular basis.
“The only way that we could finally get to the bottom of this is by taking him to hospital and having a number of tests to find out if in fact what was prescribed, what we were giving him, was working and if we could not make it any better,” Sisulu, whose ministry is responsible for Mandela's health, told reporters.
Mandela is likely to be discharged and sent home by tomorrow.
“He's as fine as can be at his age - and handsome. If we had it our way, he would be home by now,” she said.
Mac Maharaj, spokesman for President Jacob Zuma said in a statement, that Madiba, as Mandela is fondly referred to, is “fine and fully conscious”.