The former South African president Nelson Mandela, is in good spirits and making steady progress in hospital according to the latest official statement.
The 94-year-old hero of the country’s anti-apartheid struggle is being treated for a recurring lung infection.
Doctors said he was responding to treatment, but it is his third hospital stay in four months.
Mandela remains a much loved figure among South Africans.
Residents in the Johannesburg township of Soweto voiced the esteem in which he is held.
Lucky Nhlapo said: “The whole world is watching and we are hoping Mandela will come back soon, as soon as possible. Viva Mandela.”
Oupa Radebee added: “We would like to wish him a speedy recovery because he has done a lot for us. He’s an icon today. We are free today because of him. I think if maybe Mr Mandela can pass away, so many things will mess up.”
Mkotseng Ntholeng remained optimistic. “He is going to be OK. He’s a hero, a good fighter. He will be fine and be healed.”
Mandela’s condition is not only causing concern in South Africa. US president Barack Obama said: “We all recognise that he has given everything to his people, the people of South Africa, to the people of the continent, and he’s ended up being an inspiration to all of us. When you think of a single individual that embodies the kind of leadership qualities that I think we all aspire to, the first name that comes up is Nelson Mandela.”
The apartheid regime imprisoned Mandela for 27 years for conspiring to overthrow the government. During that time he caught tuberculosis, marking the start of a history of lung problems.
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