South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, has had an operation to remove gallstones, according to a government statement.
The operation was successful and Mr Mandela is recovering.
Mr Mandela, who is 94, was admitted to hospital last Saturday after suffering a recurrence of a lung infection.
Tests revealed the presence of gallstones and doctors treating Mr Mandela decided to remove them once he had recovered from the infection.
The statement said: “This morning, 15 December 2012, the former president underwent a procedure via endoscopy to have the gall stones removed. The procedure was successful and (Mr Mandela) is recovering.”
A gallstone is an accumulation of crystals in the gall bladder. If left untreated, it can become life-threatening because of the risks of secondary infections such as pancreatitis.