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Mandela 'Unstable' at Times but Resilient

A well-wisher takes a picture of a banner with the image of former South African President Nelson Mandela, outside the hospital where he is being treated, in Pretoria, July 18, 2013.
The South African government says former President Nelson Mandela remains in critical but stable condition but his condition becomes "unstable" at times.

The government said the ailing anti-apartheid icon who has been hospitalized since June has shown "great resilience" and that his condition "tends to stabilize as a result of medical interventions."

In the Saturday statement, President Jacob Zuma urged South Africans to continue praying for the 95-year-old former leader.

Mandela is hospitalized in Pretoria. He was admitted to a hospital on June 8 for a recurring lung infection.

The former president's health has worsened in recent years. He had been in and out of the hospital for much of the past year.

Mandela was elected to serve as South Africa's first black president in 1984. He played after a key role in bringing apartheid to an end.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.