Mandela Undergoes Successful Surgery

JOHANNESBURG (December 15, 20120—Former South African President Nelson Mandela, 94, underwent successful surgery Saturday to remove gallstones, South Africa’s presidency said Saturday.

The presidency said Mandela's doctors wanted to treat a recurrent lung infection before the surgery.

"The procedure was successful and Madiba is recovering,” the statement said.

It referred to Mandela by his clan name as a sign of affection.

Mandela has been hospitalized since Dec. 8.

Mandela is revered for leading the struggle against racist white rule in South Africa.

He served one five-year term as president before retiring from public life.

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