Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president after the end of apartheid in 1994, was hospitalized for what the government said was a recurring lung infection. This is his fourth hospitalization since December.
Mandela was jailed for 27 years under white racist rule and was released 23 years ago, in 1990. He then played a leading role in steering the divided country from the apartheid era to an all-race democracy.
As a result of his sacrifice and peacemaking efforts, he is seen by many around the world as a symbol of reconciliation.