Visited by Wife, Daughters in Prison : Mandela Needs Surgery, Physicians Say

Associated Press

Doctors say imprisoned black leader Nelson Mandela has liver, kidney and prostate gland ailments that require surgery, his daughter said today after visiting him at Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison.

Zenani Mandela did not say if her father had decided to go ahead with an operation, but said the family was asking permission for their own physicians to examine him. No date for surgery has been set, she said.

Mandela, 67, is the leader of the outlawed African National Congress, the main guerrilla organization trying to destroy white-minority rule in South Africa.


He was imprisoned in 1964 after being convicted on charges of high treason, sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government and is widely regarded by South African blacks as their leader.

Word of his ailments followed an 80-minute special visit that prison authorities granted to his wife, Winnie, and his daughters Zinzi and Zenani.

Zenani said Mandela looked well, but told his family he had been seen several times by prison doctors since March 23 and had undergone X-rays.

“He said last Thursday a second cystoscopy been performed under general anesthesia and he was advised by prison authorities it revealed an enlarged prostate,” she said. “He also has cysts on his liver and right kidney.”