The South African government says that former President Nelson Mandela underwent a successful surgical operation to remove gallstones from his gallbladder.
A statement issued in Johannesburg by the presidential spokesman, Mac Maharaj, said that Mandela, who is 94, underwent the surgery on Saturday.
"Mandela is recovering well after undergoing surgery this morning to remove gallstones.
"The doctors wanted to treat a recurrent lung infection before putting him through the surgery.
"The procedure was successful and Madiba is recovering," Maharaj said.
Mandela has been hospitalised since Dec.8.
A gallstone is an accumulation of crystals in the gallbladder. If left untreated, it can become life-threatening because of the risks of secondary infections such as pancreatitis. NAN