News / Africa

South African President Visits Mandela in Hospital

Former South African President Nelson Mandela as he celebrates his birthday in Qunu, South Africa, July 18, 2012.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela as he celebrates his birthday in Qunu, South Africa, July 18, 2012.
VOA News
South African President Jacob Zuma says former leader Nelson Mandela is "looking much better," after more than two weeks in a Pretoria hospital.

Zuma commented on Tuesday, after a Christmas visit with the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon. President Zuma said Mandela was happy to have visitors and was in "good spirts". He added that doctors are pleased with his progress.

President Jacob Zuma's office announced former President Nelson Mandela "has made progress" in getting better after contracting a lung infection, December 12, 2012President Jacob Zuma's office announced former President Nelson Mandela "has made progress" in getting better after contracting a lung infection, December 12, 2012
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President Jacob Zuma's office announced former President Nelson Mandela "has made progress" in getting better after contracting a lung infection, December 12, 2012
President Jacob Zuma's office announced former President Nelson Mandela "has made progress" in getting better after contracting a lung infection, December 12, 2012
Meanwhile, several hundred worshippers turned out on Tuesday for a Christmas mass for Mandela, who is recovering from a lung infection and surgery to remove gallstones.

The worshippers in Soweto township sang songs in the former president's honor and wished him a speedy recovery.

The 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on December 8.  He underwent surgery to remove gallstones, a few days after doctors treated a lung problem.

Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison for his opposition to apartheid.  

He has grown frail and has made few public appearances in recent years.

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