Ambulance escorted from Mandela hospital
A patient transport vehicle escorted by blue light vehicles was seen leaving a Pretoria hospital where former President Nelson Mandela was believed to be admitted.
The vehicle with tinted windows was escorted by three black BMW X5 SUVs with blue lights and sirens.
Hospital security guards closed off the street outside the hospital to allow the vehicles to leave.
Earlier, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was seen leaving the same hospital.
Motlanthe was seen getting into his car inside the hospital premises just before 3pm.
His spokesman, Thabo Masebe, said the deputy president was at the hospital for an appointment.
“He was there to see a doctor,” he said.
When asked if Motlanthe was there to see Mandela, Masebe said: “I don’t know if he saw him, but he had an appointment there at 2pm.”
Early this morning, presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said Mandela was admitted because of a recurring lung infection.
“This morning at about 1.30am his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital,” Maharaj said in a statement.
“He remains in a serious but stable condition.”
He said doctors were doing everything they could to make Mandela “better and comfortable”.
“President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of the government and the nation, wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and requests the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family,” Maharaj said.
A large contingent of local and international media were stationed outside the hospital.
Photographers and journalists were monitoring cars entering and exiting the hospital.
A young boy delivered a bouquet of flowers for the former statesman at his Houghton residence.
Police confronted a man, presumed to be the boy’s father, before allowing his son to make the delivery.
The boy, who was not older than five, was carried by his father as he went to hand over the flowers at the gate.
He is one of several children who have expressed concern for the ailing former president since news of his hospitalisation.