The government said Mandela needed specialist medical treatment although the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said his admission was not an emergency and did not involve surgery.
NBC News reported that the hospital admission was not an emergency and that it was pre-planned.
“There’s no need for panic,” ANC spokesman Keith Khoza told South Africa’s e-News channel later Saturday.
An ANC source told Reuters that Mandela, who is popularly known by his clan name, Madiba, was “not looking serious”.
Mandela is resting and in good spirits, NBC News reported according to South African talk radio host Kieno Kammies, who spoke to sources in the South African government and Mandela’s family.
Original story: JOHANNESBURG –– South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela was hospitalized Saturday with a stomach ailment, the country’s office of the presidency said in a statement.
President Jacob Zuma said that Mandela had had “a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention.”
The statement was published on the website for South Africa’s office of the presidency.
Mac Maharaj, Zuma’s spokesman, said he could not elaborate but that he would be issuing regular updates.
Mandela’s family members told NBC News that he was taken to a military hospital in Pretoria.
Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison for his fight against racist apartheid rule, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
His public appearances have become increasingly rare, and he was hospitalized last year for a few days with an acute respiratory
Last year, Mandela took up permanent residence at his home in Qunu, in the southwestern region of South Africa where he was raised. Earlier this year he came to his Johannesburg home for what Zuma’s office said would be a brief stay while maintenance was done at his Qunu home. Zuma’s office said then that Mandela was in good health.