PRETORIA — South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela is “responding better” to treatment in hospital, President Zuma says.
Zuma told parliament he was happy with the progress being made by Mandela after a “difficult few days”.
The 94-year-old is spending his fifth day in a Pretoria hospital suffering from a recurrent lung infection.
Mandela’s wife Graca Machel, his daughter and two granddaughters visited him today.
His family released a statement saying they had “been deeply touched” by the concern shown for Mandela’s health.
“The family have been heartened by the overwhelming messages of support from the public,” the statement said, according to AFP.
Zuma noted that today was the 49th anniversary of Mandela’s being sentenced to life in prison under the apartheid regime.
“Our country is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994 [when Mandela was elected], even though we still have so much work to do,” he said.
“We fully understand and appreciate the global interest in this world icon. We are so proud to call him our own,” he added.
“We urge South Africans and the international community to continue to keep President Mandela and the medical team in their thoughts and prayers,” he went on.
Yesterday Zuma described Mandela’s condition as “very serious but stabilised”. (BBC)