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Hospitalised Mandela making ‘progress’: government

Nelson Mandela is making progress and doctors are happy with his response to treatment for a lung infection, the South African government said Wednesday.

“Doctors attending to former president Mandela have reported that he has made progress during the past 24 hours and they are satisfied with the way he is responding to treatment,” it said in a statement.

The 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero is spending a fifth day in hospital for a recurrent lung infection, a common condition among the elderly, but which experts warn can turn serious.

He is being treated at a military hospital in the capital Pretoria.

The former president who led South Africa to democracy in 1994 has a long history of lung problems dating back decades when he contracted tuberculosis while in prison.

He was previously hospitalised for an acute respiratory infection in January 2011, when he was kept as an inpatient for two nights.

He was released in a stable condition for home-based care and intense medical monitoring.

In 1988, while serving his 27-year prison term, Mandela was diagnosed with early stage TB after being admitted to a hospital with a bad cough and weakness and having complained of dampness in his cell.