77
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      Nelson Mandela undergoes successful gallstone surgery

      JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africa's presidency says Nelson Mandela has undergone successful surgery to remove gallstones.

      The presidency said the 94-year-old Mandela underwent the surgery Saturday. The presidency said Mandela's doctors wanted to treat a recurrent lung infection before putting him through the surgery.

      The statement said: "The procedure was successful and Madiba is recovering." It referred to Mandela by his clan name as a sign of affection.

      Mandela has been hospitalized since Dec. 8.

      Mandela is revered for being a leader of the struggle against racist white rule in South Africa. He served one five-year term as president before retiring from public life.