Two days after a rumor was spread on a social network Twitter that Nelson Mandela is dead the South African government has disclosed that Mandela is sick and has been admitted to hospital on Saturday for treatment for a "long- standing abdominal complaint"
According to a statement the 93-year-old anti-apartheid leader needed specialist medical treatment. However the statement did not provide further details on his sickness
Not feeling well
Through the statement South Africa government wished him a speedy recovery,
Mandela, who is known to be in frail health, spent several days at Johannesburg's Milpark hospital just over a year ago with respiratory problems.
Since then he has not appeared in public, and has spent his time between Johannesburg and his ancestral village of Qunu in the impoverished Eastern Cape.
As South Africa's first black president, Mandela occupies a central position in the psyche of a country that was ruled by the 10 percent white minority until the first all-race elections in 1994.
Earlier this month, President Jacob Zuma and the central bank issued a new set of bank notes bearing his image.
Mandela has long since withdrawn from active participation in politics and public life in Africa's biggest economy, having stood down at the end of his first term in office in 1999.
His last major public appearance was in July 2010 at the final of the World Cup in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium.