mandela: periodieke geruststeller

Date: 30 October 2007

For immediate release

There has been a great deal of speculation recently about the state of Mr Mandela’s health, to the extent where rumours have even been spread that he is extremely ill. The fact is that Mr Mandela is as well as anyone can expect of someone who is 91 years old and who has lived an active and demanding life as he has. He obviously needs to rest more than he has in the past, and indeed to do the things that he enjoys in his well deserved retirement. He therefore recently decided to cut back his engagements even further and spend more time with his family.

As President of the country he was transparent about the state of his health; this openness continued even after his retirement in 1999. For example, he personally made a public announcement in 2001 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

People everywhere can therefore be assured that Mr Mandela and his family will continue this trend and will keep the public informed should there be any significant deterioration in his health.

In the meantime, we appeal to all concerned to respect Mr Mandela’s privacy and that of his family. The endless speculation often leads to intrusive questioning of those around him.

JG Gerwel
Chairperson Nelson Mandela Foundation