Johannesburg: Nelson Mandela has made "dramatic progress," and may be going home "anytime soon," said his daughter Zindzi on the eve of his 95th birthday.
"I visited him yesterday and he was watching television with headphones," said Zindzi Mandela in an interview with Britain`s Sky TV. "He gave us a huge smile and raised his hand ... He responds with his eyes and his hands."
Mandela is gaining "energy and strength," said his daughter. "I should think he will be going home anytime soon."
The latest description by Zindzi, who is one of Mandela`s daughters by his second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, is a significant improvement from court documents filed by the family earlier this month which said he was on life support and near death.
Mandela has been in a Pretoria hospital since June 8 and officials say his condition is critical but stable.
The news of the improvement in Mandela`s health will boost his supporters in South Africa and around the world who are preparing to celebrate his 95th birthday on Thursday, a day declared by the United Nations as a way to recognise the Nobel Prize winner`s contribution to reconciliation.
Interest in Nelson Mandela International Day has ignited as a result of the former South African president`s hospitalisation in Pretoria and people find ways to honour his ideals.