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Mandela back in hospital

The Presidency has issued a statement saying Madiba has had a recurrence of a past lung infection.

The Presidency has issued a statement saying Madiba has had a recurrence of a past lung infection.

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Nelson Mandela is back in hospital.

The Presidency has issued a statement saying Madiba has had a recurrence of a past lung infection over the last few days.

This is his fourth stay in hospital since his first bout of the infection in December last year.

The Presidency says Madiba's condition deteriorated in the early hours of this morning and he's been taken to a Pretoria hospital for treatment.

The elderly statesman remains in a serious but stable condition.

According to the statement the former president is receiving excellent medical care and doctors are doing everything possible to make him comfortable.

While wishing Madiba a speedy recovery, President Jacob Zuma has urged the media and public to respect the family's privacy.

In April Mandela was discharged from hospital after spending nine days at an undisclosed Pretoria facility.

He was treated for a recurring lung infection and resulting pneumonia - the third health scare in four months for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

He was admitted earlier in March and spent last Christmas in hospital for a similar illness and a procedure to remove gallstones.

While word of his admission to hospital has made breaking news across the world it remains quiet around Madiba's Houghton home.

Only a few journalists are monitoring the situation there so far but it's expected that as Madiba spends more time in hospital the numbers will grow.

Read the statement from The Presidency here.

Well-wishes are coming in from around the world for Madiba: