JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng: Nelson Mandela remains in a critical but stable condition, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday, more than two months after the anti-apartheid hero was hospitalized with a recurring lung infection.
“Former President Mandela is still in hospital receiving treatment and remains in a critical but stable condition,” Zuma said in speech issued by the presidency.
Mandela, 95, has been receiving treatment for a recurring respiratory illness at a private hospital in the capital Pretoria since June 8.
He was previously said to be on life support, but his condition has been lately described as serious but improving.
Early this month, his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told Sky News that he was “now breathing normally” and that doctors had kept draining fluid from his lungs.
Zuma gave the latest health update during a visit to Malaysia, where he received an award on Mandela’s behalf.
The southeast Asian nation honored the ailing statesman with the inaugural Mahathir Global Peace Award, named after the country’s former prime minister.
Zuma said South Africans were humbled to share South Africa’s revered peace icon with the world.
“While wishing him good health, we also have to celebrate his legacy and learn from it, in order to build a better world.”
Madiba, as he is known by his clan name, has been in and out of hospital since last year, with lung related complications.
In December, he spent nearly three weeks in hospital where he was treated for a lung infection and gall stones.
This is his longest hospitalization since he walked free from jail in 1990 and went on to become the country’s first leader to be elected in all-race elections.
Political leaders from across the world and the South African public have been sending Mandela messages of support since his admission.