Mandela looking much better, says Zuma
Johannesburg: South African President Jacob Zuma paid a Christmas Day visit to former president Nelson Mandela in a hospital and said anti-apartheid icon looks "much better" after medical treatment.
Zuma said doctors are pleased with Mandela’s progress.
The President also wished the former leader Merry Christmas, along with Mandela's wife Graca Machel and other family members.
"We found him in good spirits," Zuma said in a statement. "He shouted my clan name, Nxamalala, as I walked into the ward! He was happy to have visitors on this special day and is looking much better. The doctors are happy with the progress that he is making."
Mandela was admitted on December 8 to a hospital in Pretoria, the South African capital. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also had a procedure to remove gallstones. Officials have previously said Mandela was improving, but note doctors are taking extraordinary care because he is 94 years old.
Zuma said Mandela's family appreciates the support it has received from the public.
"That is what keeps them going at this difficult time," he said.
(With Agency inputs)