Former South African president Nelson Mandela has successfully undergone a procedure to have gallstones removed.

The South African government explained in a statement that the surgery on the 94-year-old Nobel peace laureate was successful and he is recovering.

Mr. Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, is respected worldwide as a symbol of resistance to racism and injustice everywhere, following his personal struggle against apartheid in his home country.

Mr. Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital a week ago after being flown from his home village of Qunu in a remote, rural part of the Eastern Cape Province.

Tests revealed a recurrence of a lung infection and that he had developed gallstones.