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Mandela Remains 'Serious But Stable' in Hospital

South Africa says former president Nelson Mandela remains in "serious but stable" condition at a Pretoria hospital where he is getting treatment for a recurring lung infection.

A spokesman for the office of President Jacob Zuma said Monday that Mr. Mandela's health is unchanged from when he was admitted to the hospital on Saturday.

"Former president Nelson Mandela remains in hospital and his condition is unchanged. He was admitted to hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning the 8th of June with a lung infection, and President Zuma would like to reiterate his call to South Africa to pray for Madiba and his family in these difficult times that they are going through.''

On Monday, Mr. Mandela was visited by ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and their daughter.

At his home in Johannesburg, a stream of people left flowers and notes for the recovery of Mr. Mandela, who is seen by many South Africans as the father of their nation.

The 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon has been hospitalized four times since December.

A friend of the elder leader, Andrew Mlangeni, told the Sunday Times newspaper that the internationally admired statesman may not be well again, and he urged family members to "release him." Mlangeni said "once the family releases him, the people of South Africa will follow."

Mr. Mandela has been vulnerable to respiratory problems since contracting tuberculosis during his 27-year imprisonment under South Africa's apartheid system.

He was released in 1990 and went on to serve as president after his African National Congress party won the 1994 democratic election.

Mr. Mandela has rarely been seen in public in recent years, as his health has become more fragile.