Nelson Mandela is increasingly out of the public eye, raising questions about his health. The first black president of South Africa “recently decided to cut back his engagements even further and spend more time with his family,” the head of his foundation tells the Guardian. Rumors that he is in the hospital abound, but don’t fret: “Mr. Mandela is as well as anyone can expect of someone who is 91 years old,” says the official.
“He obviously needs to rest more than he has in the past, and indeed to do the things that he enjoys in his well-deserved retirement,” the official continues. Family members also dismiss conjecture about Mandela’s health. “The old man is elderly now and has routine check-ups,” his grandson says. “And people get excited about it.” Mandela has previously disclosed health problems, including a 2001 bout with prostate cancer, and “Mr. Mandela and his family will continue this trend,” says the official. (Read more Nelson Mandela stories.)