PRETORIA, South Africa (AFP) — Nelson Mandela, who has been in hospital for 10 days suffering a lung infection, is “doing very well”, one of his daughters said on Monday.
“He is doing very well,” Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, South Africa’s ambassador to Argentina, told reporters gathered outside the Pretoria hospital treating the 94-year-old Mandela.
Earlier Monday the anti-apartheid hero’s wife Graca Machel thanked the world for its messages of support, which she said had eased “the burden of anxiety”.
“Our gratitude is difficult to express. But the love and peace we feel give yet more life to the simple ’Thank you!’,” Machel, 67, said in a message.
South Africa’s first black president was rushed to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 with a recurrent lung infection and remains in a serious condition although he is said to be improving.
Mandela, who is due to celebrate his 95th birthday on July 18, has been hospitalised four times since December.
South African President Jacob Zuma said Sunday that Mandela was showing a “sustained” improvement after more than a week in hospital although his condition remained serious.
The Nobel peace laureate had appeared frail and distant in the last images broadcast of him at the end of April during a visit by Zuma and other ANC leaders.
Although he has retired from public life, Mandela is still venerated by an entire people who see him as the incarnation of the end of three centuries of white-minority rule in South Africa.
Black South Africans were able to vote for the first time in 1994.
Mandela is admired throughout the world for his lifelong sacrifice in fighting the brutal regime of racial segregation installed with apartheid in 1948, and for his role in bringing multiracial democracy to South Africa, a country many feared would disintegrate into civil war.
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