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Nelson Mandela's health improving but remains critical, says President Jacob Zuma

Story highlights

  • Mandela's making "slow but steady improvement"
  • 95-year-old remains in critical condition, doctors said
  • Mandela has been hospitalized since June 8

Former South African President Nelson Mandela's health is improving, but doctors caution the danger is not yet over, the presidency said Sunday.

"The medical team also reiterated that although his health was improving steadily, Madiba still remained in a critical condition," according to a statement from President Jacob Zuma's office.

South Africans affectionately refer to Mandela as Madiba, his clan name.

The anti-apartheid icon has been hospitalized since June 8 because of a recurring lung infection.

Last month, he celebrated his 95th birthday in a Pretoria hospital.

Zuma once again thanked South Africans for their ongoing prayers and for keeping the former president in their thoughts.

"Let us continue to pray for Madiba's recovery and good health,'' said Zuma.