Feb. 25, 2012 -- Former South African president Nelson Mandela was admitted to a hospital today to receive treatment for a long-standing stomach ailment that needed "proper specialist medical attention", according to a statement issued by the country's president, Jacob Zuma.
It was unclear which hospital Mandela, 93, was admitted to, however President Zuma said the leader was expected to be released Sunday or Monday.
"[He] is fine and fully conscious and the doctors are satisfied with his condition, which they say is consistent with his age," Zuma said in a statement. " He underwent a diagnostic procedure as part of his ongoing medical management. We are happy that he is not in any danger and thank the doctors for their hard work and professionalism.
African National Congress spokesperson Keith Khoza told South Africa's e-News channel that Mandela's admission to the hospital was planned.
"There's no need for panic," he said.
The 93-year-old anti-apartheid crusader had a health scare last year when spent a week in the hospital battling a respiratory infection.
In 2001, Mandela was diagnosed with prostate cancer but doctors said that wasn't unusual for man of Mandela's age and treated it with radiation therapy.
The former president has scaled back his public appearances in recent years.
Last year he hosted Michelle Obama when the first lady traveled to South Africa with her daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Mandela was released from prison in 1990, after serving nearly three decades of hard labor at Robben Island.
The mythical figure who fought to dismantle the country's racist regime was elected as South Africa's first black president in 1994. Mandela won in a landslide.
After he left office in 1999, Mandela became a global statesman, mediating conflicts in some of the world's most troubled spots.