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Nelson Mandela hospitalized in South Africa

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Nelson Mandela hospitalized in South Africa

  • Mandela in 1990.
    Festival Karsh Ottawa/FlickrMandela in 1990.

Nelson Mandela has been taken to the hospital amid growing concerns over his health, according to media reports.

The media gathered outside the Milpark hospital in Johannesburg on Wednesday night to wait for news about the 92-year-old anti-apartheid icon and former South African president.

However, a statement released by Mandela's foundation said he was “undergoing routine tests.”

Mandela was “in no danger and is in good spirits,” Sello Hatang, spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said in a statement.

Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and one of the world's most revered statesmen, lives in Johannesburg.

He spent 27 years in prison after being arrested for plotting an armed struggle against the apartheid government. His release in 1990 paved the way for the end of white rule and he became president in 1994. He stepped down after one term in power in 1999.

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma won’t be returning from the World Economic Forum in Davos, SAPA reported, citing Zizi Kodwa, his spokesman.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was last seen in public at the football World Cup Final in July last year, when he was briefly driven around the pitch on the back of a golf buggy.

Close family members, including his wife Graca Machel, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, visited him during the course of Wednesday afternoon, prompting speculation that his condition was worse than initially reported.

According to The Australian newspaper, Archbishop Desmond Tutu sparked intense debate earlier Wednesday about Mandela's health after he replied to questions from reporters. "I saw him last week," Archbishop Tutu said in Cape Town. "He was all right — I mean, he's 92, man, you know? And he's frail."

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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