Nelson Mandela hospitalized

Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela is in a stable condition after undergoing surgery, the BBC reports.

Mandela was taken to hospital overnight for a “long-standing abdominal complaint” which needed “proper specialist medical attention”.

“President Jacob Zuma wishes to advise that former president Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital today, the 25th February 2012,” a statement from the presidency said.

“Madiba has had a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention.”

“We wish him a speedy recovery and assure him of the love and good wishes of all South Africans and people throughout the world,” the statement from the presidency said.

“We request that all respect the privacy of Madiba and that of his family during this period.”

The 93-year-old statesman and anti-apartheid icon has suffered declining health in recent years.

The health of the increasingly frail anti-apartheid icon, who is affectionately known as Madiba, sparked national fears after he was hospitalised early last year for an acute respiratory infection.

As the country’s first black president after a history of white minority rule, Nelson Mandela occupies a special place in the hearts of South Africans.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, a year before he was elected the country’s first black president in South Africa’s first all-race vote and served one term before stepping down in 1999.

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