South Africa’s Tutu Being Treated for ‘Stubborn Infection’

A child stands next to a statue of South Africa's Desmond Tutu as he has his photo taken by family members at the V&A Water Front in the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, July 16, 2015. It is time for retired archbishop Desmond Tutu to begin saying no to public events and causes, his daughter said Thursday, after the Nobel laureate was hospitalized for a persistent infection. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Daughter of South Africa's archbishop Desmond Tutu, Reverend Mpho Tutu, speak to media during a press briefing in  Cape Town, South Africa,  Thursday, July 17, 2015. It is time for 83-year old retired archbishop Desmond Tutu to begin saying no to public events and causes, his daughter said Thursday, after the Nobel laureate was hospitalized for a persistent infection. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Daughter of South Africa’s archbishop Desmond Tutu, Reverend Mpho Tutu, speak to media during a press briefing in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, July 17, 2015. It is time for 83-year old retired archbishop Desmond Tutu to begin saying no to public events and causes, his daughter said Thursday, after the Nobel laureate was hospitalized for a persistent infection. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

LYNSEY CHUTEL, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — It’s time for retired archbishop Desmond Tutu to begin saying no to public events in order to conserve his health, his daughter said Thursday, as the Nobel laureate remained hospitalized for a persistent infection.

Tutu, 83, was admitted to a Cape Town hospital on Tuesday where he is receiving an “intensive course” of antibiotics to fight a “stubborn infection,” the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said earlier in a statement.

“We are confident that he will recover well from the treatment,” Tutu’s daughter, Mpho, said in a televised press briefing.

Tutu’s illness is not related to prostate cancer, for which he has been treated for years, Mpho Tutu said. It is uncertain how long he will remain in hospital, she said. She would not reveal the exact nature of his infection.

“It is not in his prostate but it is below the belt,” she said. Laughing several times during the briefing, she said she was not anxious about her father’s illness.

But Mpho Tutu, an ordained reverend, believes it’s time for her father to begin declining public events.

“I know that my dad has a deep and abiding passion for many causes and concerns that he has been willing, at the drop of an email, to sign his name on, to be a voice for those who are facing injustice,” she said. “But my father is not quite as young as he looks so we recognize that his energy is waning a little bit.”

The foundation, named after the anti-apartheid activist and his wife, thanked the public for the support received.

“The Tutu family has been overwhelmed by the deluge of love and prayers (and interview requests) that have poured in,” the foundation said.

Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for campaigning against apartheid.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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