Former South African president Nelson Mandela is doing well after spending a night in hospital over the weekend, a friend has revealed.
But human rights lawyer George Bizos, who defended Mr Mandela during his 1960s treason trial, said that while the 94-year-old is aware of current political events, he sometimes forgets his fellow anti-apartheid activists are dead.
In an interview he told Eyewitness News: “Unfortunately he sometimes forgets that one or two of them had passed on and has a blank face when you tell him that Walter Sisulu and some others are no longer with us.”
Mr Sisulu, the former leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) who was Mr Mandela’s political mentor, died nearly a decade ago.
Mr Bizos, who has been friends with Mr Mandela since the 1940s, paid a visit to the Nobel Peace Prize winner at his Johannesburg home just over a week ago.
He said: “I saw him about 10 days ago. He looked OK.”
Mr Mandela was admitted to hospital on Saturday for “a scheduled medical check-up to manage the existing conditions in line with his age”, the South African presidency said.
It came less than three months after he was treated for a lung infection and gallstones.
Nelson Mandela is a South African anti-apartheid activist, revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first to be elected in a fully representative, multiracial election.
His administration focused on dismantling apartheid’s legacy, and cutting racism, poverty and inequality. Politically a democratic socialist, he served as president of the African National Congress (ANC) political party from 1991 to 1997.