Johannesburg: Anti-apartheid icon and former South African President Nelson Mandela is responding "satisfactorily" to treatment and is "much better" after spending a week in a hospital for pneumonia, the presidency said on Wednesday.
"President Nelson Mandela continues to make steady improvement in hospital. "His doctors say he continues to respond satisfactorily to treatment and is much better now than he was when he was admitted to hospital on the 27th of March 2013," President Jacob Zuma`s office said in a statement.
"He has been visited by family and continues to make steady progress." The 94-year old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, often fondly called by his clan name `Madiba`, was re-admitted to an undisclosed hospital in Pretoria shortly before midnight a week ago, his third stay since December.
Earlier in March, Mandela spent a night at a Pretoria hospital where he underwent a successful medical examination.
In December, he was admitted for 18 days for treatment of the lung infection and surgery to extract gallstones. It was his longest stint in hospital since his release from prison in 1990.
Mandela had a long history of lung problems, dating back to the time when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid. While in jail he contracted tuberculosis.
Mandela, one of the world`s most revered statesmen, served as South Africa`s first black president from 1994 to 1999 and is widely regarded as the father of the nation for leading the struggle against apartheid and for democracy.