Mandela showing 'sustained improvement'

15:41, Jul 22 2013

The health of former South African President Nelson Mandela has improved, though he remains in critical condition, the government said today.

Mandela is "still in a critical condition in hospital but shows sustained improvement," President Jacob Zuma's office said in a statement.

Zuma gave the update after visiting Mandela at the Pretoria hospital where he is receiving treatment. During the visit, he told the anti-apartheid leader of the love and support of all South Africans that was displayed at the leader's 95th birthday celebrations on July 18, Zuma's office said.

The president also asked the nation to continue to keep Mandela in its thoughts and prayers.

Mandela, who was jailed for 27 years during white minority rule, was hospitalised June 8 for a recurring lung infection.

On his birthday, well-wishers celebrated the global icon with worldwide tributes dedicated to him on a day declared by the UN as the Nelson Mandela International Day. In South Africa, many people performed community service to honor Mandela.

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AP