Nelson Mandela Hospitalized 93-year-old may have had surgery in South Africa By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Feb 25, 2012 5:28 AM CST 5 comments Comments Nelson Mandela in a file photo from May 2011. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS) (Newser) – Nelson Mandela, whose public appearances have become increasingly rare, is back in the hospital. The 93-year-old had an unspecified stomach ailment, reports AP, while the BBC thinks he had surgery in a Pretoria military hospital to correct it. "I can assure you that the former president is in good spirits and well," says a spokesman for President Jacob Zuma. A hospital stay about this time last year brought about similar headlines.