Johannesburg: South Africa`s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, battling for life with a recurring lung infection, on Sunday completed a month in hospital.
Today marks the 30th day the revered democracy icon has been in hospital, his longest stay. The 94-year-old statesman has been hospitalised four times since December.
However, there was no official word today on the medical condition of Mandela, who remains in critical but stable condition at Pretoria`s Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital.
Graca Machel, the wife of Mandela, has provided emotional stability during her husband`s lengthy hospital stay, media here reported.
"Madiba always wants reassurance that she (Machel) is close by. She provides emotional stability not only to him but also to many of us," Mandela`s personal assistant Zelda la Grange said using the South African leader`s clan name.
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 is revered for leading the fight against white minority rule in the African country and then preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.
Mandela, regarded the founding father of South Africa`s multiracial democracy, served as the country`s first black president from 1994 to 1999. He left power after five years as president.
Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He retired from public life in 2004 and has rarely been seen at official events since. Mandela turns 95 on July 18.