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Nelson Mandela Hospitalized for 'Routine Tests'

Update Date: Mar 09, 2013 01:23 PM EST

Anti-apartheid hero and former South African President Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized on Satuday, but officials say it's only for a routine checkup.

Mandela, 94, is believed to not be at risk, but the planned tests were said to be for existing medical conditions.

"Doctors are conducting tests and have thus far indicated that there is no reason for any alarm," according to a message posted by President Jacob Zuma's office 

'Former President Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital in Pretoria this afternoon, March 9 2013, for a scheduled medical check-up to manage existing conditions in line with his age,' said South African government spokesman Mac Maharaj.

Mandela was hospitalized at the end of last year and he was airlifted on December 8 from his rural village in the south of the country to a hospital in Pretoria for a series of tests. In January, Mandela completed his recovery from a lung infection and gallstone surgery and gradually returned to his normal routine. He first contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while detained in Robben Island prison.

At that time Zuma had sought to calm jitters over Mandela's health.

'I have been informed that at his age doctors need to intervene in a very gradual and sensitive way in order to maximise the chances of a full recovery,' he said.

'Madiba [Mr Mandela's clan name] is an unparalleled fighter and has always been so. He has met all his health challenges with his tremendous fortitude and grace.'

The former president has been rarely seen in public since retiring from public life in 2004.

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