“We would like to extend our appreciation to all the doctors and the nurses who took care of him,” Mandla Mandela said from Qunu, adding that they were grateful to the government for continuing to give the public updates on Mandela’s progress.
Saturday’s update was the first since Thursday, when President Jacob Zuma said that Mandela was continuing to improve but remains in serious condition.
Mandela, the leader of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, spent 27 years in prison during white racist rule. He was freed in 1990, and then embarked on peacemaking efforts during the tense transition that saw the demise of the apartheid system and his own election as South Africa’s first black president in 1994.
His admission to a hospital in Pretoria, the capital, is Mandela’s fourth time being admitted to a hospital for treatment since December.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been particularly vulnerable to respiratory problems since contracting tuberculosis during his long imprisonment. The bulk of that period was spent on Robben Island, an outpost off the coast of Cape Town where Mandela and other prisoners spent part of the time toiling in a stone quarry.