Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital with a lung infection. Mr Mandela's illness is said to be serious, although he is responding well to treatment at the hospital.
The former South African president, 94, had reportedly been suffering over the past week but after his condition deteriorated suddenly in the early hours of Saturday morning, he was moved from his home near Johannesburg to a hospital in the country's capital, Pretoria.
Mr Mandela is in a "serious but stable condition," commented Mac Maharaj, a spokesperson for President Jacob Zuma.
As the world waits anxiously for news of the iconic former leader Mr Maharaj added that Mr Madela's family were with him at this crucial time
"Naturally the immediate members of the family have access to him," he added. "It's always good for the patient that he has been accompanied by one or other of them, and that has happened."
Mr Mandel's recurrent lung infection caused him to spend several days in hospital back in March.
Speaking to the BBC at the time, President Zuma said that while Mr Mandela's recovery was doing "very well", people should be realistic about the prognosis because of Mr Mandela's age.