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Mandela responding to treatment: Zuma

Nelson Mandela remains in hospital and is responding to treatment two weeks after being admitted for a lung infection, South African President Jacob Zuma said Saturday after paying him a visit.

Zuma urged the nation to keep praying for the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero and revered statesman.

“We urge South Africans to continue praying for our beloved Madiba during this period. Our hearts are with the whole family and relatives,” he said in a statement.

Mandela was admitted to a hospital in the capital Pretoria on December 8. Tests revealed that the country’s first black president had a recurring lung infection and had developed gallstones.

On December 15 he underwent surgery to remove the gallstones, and on Thursday Zuma described his condition as serious but improving.

The Nobel peace laureate has a long history of lung problems dating back decades to when he contracted tuberculosis while in jail as a political prisoner.

This is the longest time Mandela has spent in hospital since being release from prison in 1990.

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

Mandela became South Africa’s president after the country’s first all-race elections in 1994 and stepped down after serving one term.