Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, 94, spends his 14th day in a South African hospital today amid reports of suffering a recurring long infection.
Last week, doctors at the Military Hospital in Pretoria successfully removed gallstones from the old man.
Since then there have been speculations about the state of health of South Africa’s first African leader, with reports that he had lost his power of speech.
President Jacob Zuma Saturday visited him in hospital today and said he was responding to treatment.
Zuma urged the nation to keep praying for the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero and revered statesman.
“We urge South Africans to continue praying for our beloved Madiba during this period. Our hearts are with the whole family and relatives,” he said in a statement, adding that Mandela continues to respond to treatment.
Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj, who was imprisoned with Mandela on Robben Island declined to give details about the visit, saying “the focus should be on his health”.
Mandela was admitted to a hospital in the capital Pretoria on December 8, after being flown from his rural home, south of the country.
Tests revealed that the country’s first black president had a recurring lung infection and had developed gallstones.
On December 15 he underwent successful surgery to have them removed, following an outpouring of well wishes from citizens. On Thursday Zuma described his condition as serious but improving.
Maharaj could not say when was he likely to be discharged from hospital.
The Nobel peace laureate has a long history of lung problems dating back decades to when he contracted tuberculosis while in jail as a political prisoner.
This is the longest time Mandela has spent in hospital since being release from prison in 1990.
He was previously hospitalised for an acute respiratory infection in January 2011, when he was kept as an inpatient for two nights.
Mandela became South Africa’s president after the country’s first all-race elections in 1994 and stepped down after serving one term.