Madiba showing ‘sustained improvement’

President Jacob Zuma said former president Nelson Mandela remains in a critical condition.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma with former president Nelson Mandela. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma on Monday visited former president Nelson Mandela at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

He delivered a birthday message on behalf of Albertina Luthuli, Chief Albert Luthuli's daughter.

Madiba turned 95 on 18 July and his birthday was celebrated in both South Africa and the world.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj quoted Luthuli as saying, "I am encouraged by the reports pointing in the direction of some recovery in your physical condition. I pray that it be sustainable each day as time takes you forward."

Luthuli says she remembers making scones and tea for Madiba when he met with her father on official ANC business.

"That laid the basis to regard you as my father after the death of my own."

Zuma once again assured Madiba of the love and support he had from all South Africans, Maharaj added.

He said the former president is showing "sustained improvement" in his health, but remains in a critical condition.

Monday is Madiba's 44th day at the facility.

He is being treated for a recurring lung infection.

In a statement released by Mandela's grandson Mandla on Monday morning, he said Madiba is gaining strength every day.