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Mandela doctors worried about number of visitors

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Nelson Mandela goes home
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mandela spent a "restful and peaceful night"
  • Doctors are concerned about the number of visitors he is receiving
  • South Africa's defense force is in communication with leaders of Mandela's clan

Johannesburg (CNN) -- Former South African president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is "responding to medication and treatment," but doctors are concerned about the number of people visiting him, the nation's acting president said in a statement Monday.

Mandela, 92, was discharged from a Johannesburg hospital on Friday after treatment for an acute respiratory infection, South Africa's surgeon general, Veejay Ramlakan, said.

The team looking after Mandela, headed by Ramlakan, said he had a "peaceful and restful night" Sunday night, acting President Kgalema Motlanthe said.

"President Mandela is said to be responding to medication and treatment," the statement said. "The close monitoring and 24-hour care from the team of specialists continues."

Mandela will be home soon
Nelson Mandela treated at hospital
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However, Mandela's doctors are "concerned about the number of people visiting," Motlanthe said. "Once again we want to appeal to all that we accord the former president and his family the space to support him in privacy and dignity which he deserves. Doctors must also be allowed to do their work without any undue pressure and in an atmosphere that allows them to carry on with their duties without any disturbance."

South Africa's National Defense Force has established communication "with the traditional leaders of Madiba's clan to inform them of his condition and the support he continues to receive," Motlanthe said. "Madiba" is Mandela's clan name, which continues to be popular in South Africa.

"We will continue to keep the country, our people and friends throughout the world informed of the developments," Motlanthe's statement said. "... We wish to take this opportunity to thank all our people and friends around the world for their continued support to President Mandela and his family and want to assure them that we are doing all we can to ensure that he recovers."

The former president was flown to the hospital last week from Cape Town, where he was on vacation.

Reports that he was hospitalized sparked concerns worldwide. South African officials urged citizens to be calm, saying the Mandela "suffers from ailments common to people of his age."

"Medically there is no need to panic," Motlanthe said last week. "Mandela suffers from ... conditions that have developed over years. We may recall that he has suffered from tuberculosis whilst on Robben Island and has had previous respiratory infections."

Mandela was imprisoned for decades at Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town.

The former president rarely makes public appearances. His last appearance was at the closing ceremonies of the World Cup in South Africa over the summer. He recently released a new memoir, "Conversations With Myself."

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate spent 27 years in prison after being convicted of sabotage and attempts to overthrow the government under South Africa's former apartheid regime. He was released in 1990 and served as president four years later.

 
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