JOHANNESBURG Nelson Mandela, the 94-year-old former South African leader who has spent nearly two weeks in hospital, is steadily improving and responding well to treatment, current President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
"His condition was serious, but he is responding well to treatment, and has steadily improved over the last few days," Zuma said at the close of a week-long leadership conference of the ruling African National Congress.
The country's first black president was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on December 8 after being flown from his home village of Qunu in a remote part of the Eastern Cape province.
He was treated initially for a recurrent lung infection and then had a successful procedure to have gallstones removed.
(Reporting by David Dolan; editing by Pascal Fletcher)