At a Christmas mass in Soweto, church-goers prayed for former South African president Nelson Mandel’s speedy recovery.
The 94-year-old has been in hospital in the capital Pretoria for the past two weeks being treated for a lung infection and gallstones.
“The message I would give to him is must just feel well, we love him and that’s all,” said church-goer Thenjiwe Makhub.
Another local resident Thabiso Kekana said: “I really hoping Madiba (Mandela) a speedy recovery and Merry Christmas. I hope to see him next year hopefully.”
Current President Jacob Zuma made a personal visit to Mandela’s bedside on Christmas morning.
He said the Nobel peace laureate is feeling much better and that doctors are happy with his progress.
No date has been given for Mandela’s release from hospital.
The anti-apartheid hero retired from public life in 2004 after serving one term as South Africa’s first black president.