Mandela's 'Sparkle Fading,' Says Wife
Makes comments as former leader diagnosed with lung infection
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2012 5:59 AM CST
Nelson Mandela reacts as Zambia's former President Kenneth Kaunda, unseen, makes a joke during his 90th birthday celebrations at his house in Qunu, South Africa, Saturday, July 19, 2008.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)

(Newser) – The first specifics of Nelson Mandela's condition are trickling out following the former president's weekend hospitalization, and they're both encouraging and heart-tugging. The New York Times reports that his condition has been revealed as a recurring lung infection, and he is reportedly "responding to the treatment." But wife Graca Machel spoke yesterday of the difficulty of seeing him age, reports the AFP, telling a news station, "It's something also which pains you. ... I mean, this spirit and this sparkle, you see that somehow it's fading." The 94-year-old was also hospitalized for a respiratory infection in January 2011; he was hospitalized earlier this year with stomach pains.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Dec 11, 2012 3:43 PM CST
hey, Coolface, read Mandela's history and his governing of his section of Africa and then tell me that this isn't sad to hear of the aging toll on this gentleman. Don't speak unless you know the story, unless you belong to the KKK. God bless him for living this long and the good he has done for his country.
Dec 11, 2012 12:38 PM CST
Can this week's news get any better? First a egotistic powertrip dictator's cancer comes back and now a bloodthirsty guerilla warfare terrorist responsible for much of the devolving of Africa in the last 50 years is dying. Next let's see Ahmadinejad get assassinated.
Dec 11, 2012 12:19 PM CST
Float easy Madiba. And you can call me...........Mr Joshua