Madiba still recuperating

Former president Nelson Mandela is still recuperating at a Pretoria hospital.

Statesman Nelson Mandela is still in hospital where he is recovering from a lung infection. Picture: Debbie Yazbek/Nelson Mandela Foundation/SAPA

QUNU/JOHANNESBURG - Former president Nelson Mandela is still recuperating at a Pretoria hospital, the Presidency said on Thursday.

There is no new information on the former president's condition.

The 94-year-old former statesman was flown from Qunu in the Eastern Cape to Gauteng almost two weeks ago.

He was treated for a recurring lung infection and had gallstones removed last weekend.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj says Madiba seems alert when he visited him earlier this week.

"As soon as I walked in, he greeted me in a quiet alert manner and asked me what I was doing here. I thought he was in a nice, joking mood."

The Presidency has been heavily criticised about the lack of regular updates on Mandela's health.

Meanwhile, residents at Madiba's home village say they hope the elderly statesman will be with his family for Christmas.

Villagers went about their business as usual, preparing for the festive holidays.

Most are working in their gardens while some have gone to Mthatha to get their Christmas shopping done.

Silumko Mandela's home is just a few kilometres away from Madiba's house.

The 65-year-old refers to Mandela as his grandfather and says he last saw him shortly before his hospitalisation.

He says at the time, they were told Mandela was to undergo tests and that it was nothing unusual for a person of his age.

Like most villagers, he relies on a local radio station to get news about the 94-year-old's health.

With a smile on his face, he said the last update he heard was that Madiba was doing well.