'Anything' possible with Mandela's health

Johannesburg: Archbishop Desmond Tutu said on Thursday that 'anything can happen' with Nelson Mandela's health as South Africa anxiously awaited news after its revered former leader was hospitalised.

"What more do we want from him? We want him to remain forever, but you know... anything can happen," Tutu said, responding to questions at the opening ceremony for an institute for the study of racial reconciliation at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

Tutu said he had seen his fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner last week. Mandela is in 'amazing' condition for his age, he said, though 'at 92 years he cannot run a marathon now'.

Tutu, who shares Mandela's status as an icon of the struggle against white minority rule in South Africa, had on Tuesday told the Sapa news agency that the country's first black president appeared 'frail' during their recent visit.

Mandela's stay in hospital stretched into a second day Thursday, with no word on his condition since a statement from his foundation the day before saying he was undergoing 'routine tests'.

President Jacob Zuma and Mandela's party, the ruling African National Congress, issued calls for calm on Thursday, saying the former leader was being well cared for at Johannesburg's Milpark Hospital.

Mandela's current wife, Graca Machel, his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and numerous family members and ANC leaders have been seen arriving at the hospital for visits.

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