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Mandela Still in Critical Condition

A well wisher wearing ANC colors gestures in front of the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, where the ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated at, in Pretoria, July 9, 2013.
South Africa says Nelson Mandela remains in critical but stable condition, while his grandson says the anti-apartheid icon remains "very much alive."

In a statement Tuesday, South African President Jacob Zuma thanked the public for its continued show of support outside of the Pretoria hospital where Mandela has remained since June 8.

Meanwhile his grandson, Ndaba Mandela, said that Mandela responds when spoken to. He urged people to celebrate his grandfather's life ahead of his 95th birthday on July 18.

The former South African president has been in critical condition for more than two weeks, amid reports that he is on life support.

Last week, the government denied a report that Mandela is in a vegetative state.

For weeks, groups of well-wishers have gathered outside the hospital, delivering flowers and messages of support for their ailing hero.

Mandela is revered in South Africa and beyond for his role in ending official racial discrimination and white minority rule. After spending 27 years in prison, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and was elected South Africa's first black president the following year.