Mandela, who has become increasingly frail in recent years, last made a public appearance at the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament, which was hosted by South Africa. He didn't deliver an address on that occasion and was bundled against the cold in a stadium full of fans.
On April 29, state television broadcast footage of a visit by Zuma and other leaders of the African National Congress to Mandela's home. Zuma said at the time that Mandela was in good shape, but the footage — the first public images of Mandela in nearly a year — showed him silent and unresponsive, even when Zuma tried to hold his hand.
Between hospital stays in recent months, Mandela has been staying at his home in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Houghton, where he has received what the government described as "home-based high care" by a medical team. On April 6, he was discharged from a hospital after treatment for pneumonia, which included a procedure in which doctors drained fluid from his lung area.
Mandela has been vulnerable to respiratory problems since contracting tuberculosis during his imprisonment under apartheid. Most of those years were spent on Robben Island, a forbidding outpost off the coast of Cape Town.
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