South African anti-apartheid veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of late President Nelson Mandela, has been hospitalized for a kidney infection but is expected to make a full recovery, the Times Live online news site said on Tuesday.
Times Live, quoting her spokesman Victor Dlamini, said the 81-year-old had complained of a “loss of appetite” and that “one of her legs was painful”.
She was taken to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Sunday.
“Upon admission‚ it was discovered that she had an infection that had affected her kidneys. She is expected to make a full recovery and should spend approximately a week at the hospital‚” Dlamini was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday night.
Madikizela-Mandela’s personal assistant, Zodwa Zwane, directed all queries to Dlamini, who was not immediately available for comment.
“Prior to going to the clinic, she was uncomfortable and complaining of loss of appetite and that one of her legs was painful,” the relatives said in a statement. “Upon admission, it was discovered that she had an infection that had affected her kidneys.”
Madikizela-Mandela is expected to make a full recovery and will remain in the hospital for another week, according to the family.
“She is constantly surrounded by family and is in high spirits,” the relatives said.
Madikizela-Mandela has been in and out of hospital since 2016 for back and knee surgery.
During her ex-husband’s 27-year imprisonment for his fight against apartheid, Madikizela-Mandela campaigned for his release and the rights of black South Africans, undergoing arrest and banishment. White minority rule ended in 1994.
Madikizela-Mandela, a prominent political activist in her native South Africa, divorced Nelson Mandela in 1996 after 38 years of marriage. Despite their divorce, the two remained close until Mandela’s death in 2013.
Madikizela-Mandela, known among her supporters as “Mother of the Nation,” acted as her late husband’s mouthpiece while he spent 27 years in prison during the South African apartheid.