JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Hostile honey bees attacked Nelson Mandela in the bathroom, repeatedly stinging the South African president.

Mandela, 79, said the bees were buzzing outside his vacation home Saturday in Qunu, in the former Transkei tribal homeland, and then some flew inside and attacked, the Sunday Independent reported.

Mandela said he was stung ``four or five times'' on the abdomen and ``also in parts that I can't mention,'' the newspaper reported.

The onetime boxer's combative inclinations got the better of him.

When he heard heavy buzzing, Mandela said, he knew it would be better to stand still, but he feared getting stung and quickly reached for some bug spray.

``Then they launched a counterattack,'' he said. ``I had to flee.''