Nelson Mandela: South African president Jacob Zuma says anti-apartheid hero is "in good spirits" after two weeks in hospital


Nelson Mandela is 'in good spirits' after two weeks in hospital, says South African president Jacob Zuma Former South African leader is 'looking much better' said President Zuma
Mr Mandela had surgery to remove gallstones on December 15
Doctors are happy with Mr Mandela's progress but no date given for release

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UPDATED:

11:23 GMT, 25 December 2012

Nelson Mandela is in good spirits and looking much better after more than two weeks in hospital, South Africa President Jacob Zuma said today.

Zuma, who visited Mandela on Christmas Day, said in a statement that doctors were happy with the progress the anti-apartheid hero was making.

'We found him in good spirits. He was happy to have visitors on this special day and is looking much better. The doctors are happy with the progress that he is making,' said Zuma.

Recovering: Former South African leader Nelson Mandela is to spend Christmas Day in hospital, the presidency has said

Recovering: Former South African leader Nelson Mandela is to spend Christmas Day in hospital, the presidency has said

The 94-year-old Nobel Peace laureate has been in hospital in South African capital Pretoria for more than two weeks.

He was airlifted from his rural village in the south of the country to the hospital for a series of tests.

Doctors
found the former president had a
recurrent lung infection and had developed gallstones.

He underwent surgery on December 15.

Getting better: Mr Mandela is said to be improving and is responding to treatment, but doctors have not let him home for Christmas

Getting better: Mr Mandela is said to be improving and is responding to treatment, but doctors have not let him home for Christmas

Zuma, who has just been re-elected as
president of the ruling African National Congress party, last week
described Mandela's condition as serious.

Periodic statements from the presidency continue to stress that the veteran politician is responding to treatment.

Earlier he descried Mr Mandela, who was imprisoned under apartheid for 27 years, as an 'ardent fighter'.

No date has been given for his release from hospital.

Mandela, who is internationally
admired for his struggle against minority white rule, retired from
public life in 2004 after serving one term as South Africa's first black
president.