The South African government is dispelling rumours that Former President Nelson Mandela had been operated on, claiming he only visited hospital for only for abdominal pain and routine checks.
The authorities are therefore appealing to the Media World to wait for the appropriate time for truthful News about the state of his health, urging that the media should exercise restrain over speculative reporting.
The warning emerged after media reports across the world claimed the former leader had a surgery operation overnight and was recovering.
Saturday morning’s speculation had been prompted by an earlier statement coming from the Presidency which claimed:”President Jacob Zuma wishes to advise that….Mandela was admitted to hospital today, 25 February 2012,”
“Madiba has had a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention.”
The name of the hospital Mendela was admitted was not supplied as the Presidency refused to give more information
According to the presidential spokesman, Mac Maharaj:”We want to handle the matter with due regard to his privacy. We will give you updates as soon as we have any,” he said.
“We assure him [Mandela] of the love and good wishes of all South Africans and people throughout the world.”
The News which broke out this morning however was jumped on by the world media which claimed that Mandela was operated on in a major surgery.
The claim however had irked SA presidency, which frowned at what it described as speculative reporting.
“If we look at the statement released by the SA Presidency – it does not state that Mandela is going in for surgery. We do not want any speculation,” African National Congress spokesperson Keith Khoza said.
“His [Mandela’s] admittance was pre-arranged. Mandela was complaining about abdominal pain – now it is a matter that his doctors and specialists will decide on.”
Khoza was commenting after a leading world Media reported that Mandela was “stable” after undergoing surgery.
The major world News source had quoted unnamed “officials” who said Mandela had spent the night at hospital.
The broadcaster said it “understood” that he had undergone overnight surgery for a hernia.
However, the presidency claimed it was yet to reveal detailed information about Mandela’s state of health.
“We want to give the specialists time to attend to him first and then they will provide us with a full report that will be presented to President Jacob Zuma,” said Maharaj.