Johannesburg, June 8 (IANS) Anti-apartheid icon and South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela was hospitalised Saturday, following a "recurrence of lung infection", the Presidency said.
"During the past few days, Mandela has had a recurrence of lung infection," Xinhua quoted the Presidency as saying in a statement.
"This morning (Saturday) at about 01.30 a.m., his condition deteriorated and he has been transferred to a Pretoria hospital," the Presidency said.
"He remains in a serious but stable condition, and doctors are doing everything possible to make him better," it said.
This is the third time the 94-year-old Mandela has been admitted to hospital this year. On March 27, he was hospitalised after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
Mandela suffered from tuberculosis when he was incarcerated for 27 years before the apartheid ended in 1994. His lung problem was the result of tuberculosis developed when he was in prison.
Mandela served as president from 1994 to 1999.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) urged the public to respect the privacy of the former president.
"The ANC hopes and trusts that (former) president Mandela and his family will be afforded the necessary respect and privacy while he is in hospital, we have no doubt that Tata (Mandela) will continue to receive expert medical care and attention at this time," the party said in a statement.