TODAY   |  June 10, 2013

Spokesman: Nelson Mandela’s condition is ‘serious’

The former South African president was hospitalized over the weekend for a recurrent lung infection after “his condition deteriorated,” a spokesman said. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> morning over the health of former south african president nelson mandela . he is hospitalized with a recurring lung infection. we have the latest on his condition. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. a statement released by the south african president 's office says his condition is unchanged. over the weekend doctors described his condition as serious but stable. in the short statement, the president calls on people here to pray for nelson mandela .

>> only the closest to nelson mandela are visiting him in the hospital. there must be no distractions the report says as doctors treat him for a recurrent lung infection. some of his children and grand childrenisited the hospital where it's thought he's being treated. his condition unchanged since saturday when the presidential spokesman announced his health had gotten worse.

>> his condition deteriorated to the point where he was found necessary to hospitalize him. he's in a hospital now. the doctors report that his condition is serious but he is stable.

>> reporter: nelson mandela 's lungs have been weak. his strength help bring about the transformation of south africa ending the regime that separated blacks from whites. he is 94 now and his country worries, shocked by pictures fill perioded by the south african broadcasting association in april showing him looking frail. one of those imprisoned with him willing him to pull through.

>> he is at the hospital now right in the middle of winter and all of that and all of us should be worried.

>> another long time friend telling a newspaper it's time to get nelson mandela go but all across south africa , prayers for the father of the nation . he fought for freedom and democracy to send the oppression of his people, now facing a different fight. perhaps we don't put enough on the sacrifice his family made. they were without him of course for the 27 years that he was in prison. now they face this difficult time. the president is calling on people to pray f his family, too.