Schoolchildren sang and wished Nelson Mandela a speedy recovery Friday as he remained hospitalized with a lung infection. "Tata Mandela, we love you and we wish you well," they sang.
The children, carrying balloons and posters, gathered outside the Pretoria hospital where the 94-year-old former South African president has spent the past seven days.
The current president, Jacob Zuma, visited Mandela in the hospital late Thursday. After the visit, the South African leader said Mandela was continuing to improve but his condition remains serious.
He asked people to keep Madiba - Mandela's clan name - in their prayers.
Meanwhile, the French News Agency said about a dozen bishops held a prayer vigil Friday outside the hospital where they expressed hope for his recovery.
This is the fourth time the anti-apartheid icon has been hospitalized for lung infections since December.
He has a history of lung problems dating back to the tuberculosis he contracted during his 27-year imprisonment under South Africa's apartheid system. He was released in 1990, and four years later was elected president in the country's first democratic polls.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.