JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The health of former South African President Nelson Mandela has improved, according to South African officials who said he is in much better shape than he was a week ago when he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.
“President Nelson Mandela continues to make steady improvement in hospital,” said a statement by Mac Maharaj, spokesman for President Jacob Zuma. “His doctors say he continues to respond satisfactorily to treatment and is much better now than he was when he was admitted to hospital."
It is the third time that Mandela, know affectionately by South Africans by his clan name, Madiba, has been hospitalized since December, when he spent nearly three weeks in the hospital with pneumonia. He also underwent a gallstone operation.
Mandela's hospitalization raised concerns across South Africa, and Wednesday’s statement came as a relief after the presidency had not issued an update on the former president’s health the previous day.