'Routine' Mandela Hospitalization Spawns Frenzy
Former South African president receiving many bedside visits
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2011 10:20 AM CST
In this June 17, 2010 file photo, former South African President, Nelson Mandela leaves the chapel after attending the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa.   (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool, File)
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(Newser) – Nelson Mandela is in the hospital for the second day for what his office claims are routine tests—but his unusually long stay has sparked a media frenzy, especially after news that he’s had numerous visitors, including his ex-wife. The 92-year-old former South African president has rarely been seen since 2004, the AP notes; he has appeared increasingly frail, and his last public appearance was in July, at the World Cup closing ceremony, the New York Times adds.

A radio station reported that a pulmonologist, or respiratory specialist, had seen Mandela, the Telegraph notes. In addition to his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was reportedly crying as she left the hospital, the anti-apartheid leader has had bedside visits from his wife, grandchildren, and senior politicians. Even so, a spokesperson for the African National Congress urged people “not to make unfounded statements, let's remain calm and not press panic buttons because there is no reason to do so."