It is reported that his hospital visit was scheduled in advance for tests that commensurate with someone of his age.
"Doctors are conducting tests and have thus far indicated that there is no reason for any alarm," read a statement issued by the country's presidency.
According to Mac Maharaj, a spokesman for the South African government, Mandela is reportedly in a hospital in Pretoria. His exact whereabouts were not disclosed.
Time reports that officials have used similarly soothing language to explain previous hospital stays for the elderly Mandela, but in those cases he later turned out to have more serious conditions.
The intense privacy surrounding the health of Mandela reflects in part the official reverence for a man who is seen as one of the great, unifying figures of the 20th century for helping to avert race-driven chaos in South Africa’s tense transition from apartheid to democracy.
As Mandela serves as a symbol of hope for his country, it is understandable that they choose to protect him at all cost.