Concern grows over Nelson Mandela's health

(CBS News) There is growing concern for the health of Nelson Mandela. South Africa's government says the former president had a good night's rest in the hospital, but officials aren't saying why he's there.

Nelson Mandela admitted to hospital for tests
Pictures: Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday celebration
Pictures: Nelson Mandela

Mandela has been hospitalized for two days. In the absence of any details, inevitably the speculation rises and so does the concern.

The last public appearance of Nelson Mandela was on his 94th birthday last July, when he was seen with his family at a birthday lunch in his home village of Qunu, in the rural Eastern Cape province. At the time, he seemed physically robust, but mentally distant from what was going on around him.

When news emerged that Mandela had been moved to a military hospital in Pretoria, the worrying began -- again.

One South African man told CBS News, "We need him around us, even though he's old, but he's our grandfather so we need him. We still need his wisdom."

But there was reassuring news from a government minister who saw Mandela Monday. Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula said, "He is doing very well. He's undergoing a series of tests to determine what is going on in his body."

Mandela has been retired from politics for more than a decade, but is still a revered figure both in South Africa and internationally. He remains the personification of South Africa's struggle for equality and of its post-apartheid reconciliation.

Each time Mandela has gone into the hospital, and it's been several times over the last year, there's been concern for his condition and each time he's come out again he's showed his same resolve that he is famous for and that's what people are hoping for again this time.

Watch Mark Phillips' full report in the video above.