Mandela in 'good spirits’ - Zuma
Nelson Mandela looks "much better" after medical treatment and doctors are pleased with his progress, President Jacob Zuma said after visiting the anti-apartheid icon in hospital today.
Mr Zuma joined Mr Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, and other family members in wishing a Merry Christmas to Mr Mandela at his bedside.
"We found him in good spirits," Mr Zuma said. "He shouted my clan name, Nxamalala, as I walked into the ward! He was happy to have visitors on this special day and is looking much better."
Mr Mandela, 94, was admitted to a hospital in Pretoria on 8 December with a lung infection and also had a procedure to remove gallstones.
He has been treated there for a recurrent lung infection and also underwent surgery to remove gallstones, in his longest hospital stay since coming out of prison in 1990 after 27 years in detention.
On Monday, Zuma's office, which is tasked with issuing updates on his condition, said doctors had confirmed that he would not be home for Christmas. But there was no indication of when he might be discharged.
Only limited details of Mandela's condition have been made public by the South African government, which has repeatedly called on the public to respect the former president's privacy.
In January 2011 he was hospitalized for two nights for an acute respiratory infection.
Mandela was last seen in public in 2010, clad in a scarf during the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup, when he was wheeled into the stadium in a golf cart.
Mandela, who is also fondly known by his clan name Madiba, stepped down in 1999 after serving one term as president.
- Asian Tribune -