Johannesburg: South African authorities have insisted that Nelson Mandela’s privacy is of the utmost importance, and defended their decision of not disclosing the name of the hospital where the former president is being treated.
The statement from the presidency came after reports emerged that Mandela was no longer being treated at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.
In a statement late on Thursday, presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj maintained that right from the start, no mention was made of the specific hospital where Mandela was being treated, to ensure privacy.
“President Mandela is being treated at a Pretoria hospital as said from the first statement we issued,” News24 quoted Maharaj, as saying.
“We have refrained from disclosing the hospital in order to ensure privacy and also to allow doctors space to do their work of caring for Madiba without interruptions or undue pressure. Madiba is being treated for a lung infection and is well-looked after by a competent medical team,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, a report by Eye Witness News (EWN) said that Mandela was not at 1 Military, but ‘has decided not to name the Pretoria hospital in a bid to protect Madiba`s privacy’.
EWN said it had spotted several black military police vehicles with their unmistakable yellow license plates parked at the facility (where Mandela is).
According to the report, staff confirmed that Madiba had been treated at the 1 Military Hospital but said they were sworn to secrecy, EWN said.