'No need to panic' over Mandela

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Nelson Mandela has spent a second night in hospital, but the South African government said there is no need to panic (AP)

Anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has spent a second night in a Johannesburg hospital, but the South African government said there is no need to panic.

In a statement late on Thursday, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe offered no specifics on why Mr Mandela was taken to the hospital on Wednesday, but said he was undergoing specialised tests.

Mr Motlanthe, who is acting president while President Jacob Zuma attends the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, referred to Mr Mandela’s history of respiratory problems.

Mr Mandela contracted tuberculosis during his 27 years in prison.

Mr Motlanthe notes “mounting concern” among the public about Mr Mandela’s health, but said: “Medically there is no need to panic.”

Mr Motlanthe is scheduled to brief reporters on Mr Mandela’s health later on Friday.

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