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Madiba spends 5th night in hospital

Former president Nelson Mandela has spent his 5th night in 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.

This file picture taken on 7 December, 2005 shows former SA president Nelson Mandela speaking to the press during a meeting with JMPD’s Thabo Mathebula. Picture: AFP

THABA TSHWANE/SOWETO - Former president Nelson Mandela has spent his 5th night in 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.

A statement from the president's office on Wednesday said Madiba's medical team was satisfied with the way he was responding to treatment for a lung infection.

The struggle icon was flown to the capital city from his hometown in the Eastern Cape and admitted to the hospital on Saturday, for what the presidency at the time said were for tests consistent with a man of his age.

On Tuesday however, presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said tests had revealed the 94-year-old statesman had a recurring lung infection.

Journalists continued "Madiba Watch" outside the hospital hoping for any update on his health.

It is not clear at this stage when Madiba will be discharged and return to his Qunu home in the Eastern Cape.

WELL WISHES

The news of the hospitalisation of South Africa's first democratic president has captured the attention of people across the globe.

Among his well-wishers is Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, who said Madiba was in her prayers.

Speaking at an event where she handed over food parcels to the elderly in Soweto, Mokonyane wished the former president a speedy recovery.

"Let's also wish Madiba a speedy recovery. We love him so much, he is our father."

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko, who was also at the event, joined the international chorus wishing Mandela well.

We wish uTata a speedy recovery. All of us in Gauteng love him very much and s'themba ukuthi (we hope) he will spend Christmas with his family."

Mandela's health has featured prominently in morning mass at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto, south of Johannesburg.

A handfull of congregants gathered at the Church on Thursday morning where senior citizens who use the daily morning mass to pray for the sick.

The historic building that hosted various freedom fighters during apartheid has received many visitors since Madiba was admitted to hospital.

Well wishes have also been pouring in since then, with scores wishing the Nobel Peace Prize winner a speedy recovery.

LEGACY

He touched the nation and the world through his efforts to unite South Africans after decades of segregation.

In February 2012, Madiba was admitted to the same facility for one night, after he complained about abdominal pains.