Mandela: South Africa asks world to 'pray for our beloved Madiba'

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Mandela: South Africa asks world to 'pray for our beloved Madiba'

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The South African government said Nelson Mandela, in a Pretoria hospital, is “responding positively” to treatment for a recurring lung infection. He will remain in hospital for further care and observation.

Fresh concerns were raised about the health of the former South African President, 94, when he was hospitalised on March 27.

South African presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said: “President Zuma wished Madiba a speedy recovery and appeals to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts. “

“We have full confidence, says President Zuma, in the medical team and know that they would do everything possible to ensure Madiba’s recovery,” Maharaj continued.

Support for Mandela is strong among Pretoria residents. One local, Perfect Thabo Maphosa, said: “Madiba, you have done so much into our government, into us. Now we are getting free education, learning for free. It’s because of you.”

“He should hang in there and be strong we still need him so much,” said another resident, Scheprel Baker.

Mandela spent the Christmas period in hospital. At that time, he was receiving treatment for the lung infection and had an operation to remove gallstones.