'Madiba continues to show improvement'

The Presidency has issued a statement on Madiba's health.

FILE: The Presidency says former President Nelson Mandela remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital and continues to show improvement. Picture: Debbie Yazbek/Nelson Mandela Foundation/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency says former President Nelson Mandela remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital and continues to show improvement.

Madiba has been treated for a recurring lung infection at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria since 8 June.

The ailing statesman turned 95 on 18 July and his birthday was celebrated in South Africa and across the world.

He began to show signs of improvement around the time of his birthday and the statesman's family appeared optimistic he would return home soon.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj says President Jacob Zuma has urged the public to continue to pray for Madiba.

On Monday, the Presidency declined to comment on reports that Mandela's life support machine showed he was in distress last week.

Over the weekend, US television network CBS reported that Mandela recently underwent a surgical procedure to unlock his dialysis tube and that his life support machine showed he was in distress.

The network also reported that Mandela wasn't responding well to his medications this past week.

CONFLICTING REPORTS

During a visit to Madiba on 20 July, Zuma said the statesman was showing "sustained improvement" in his health, but remained in a critical condition.

Madiba's daughter Zindzi recently told Eyewitness News that her father was getting better and they were expecting him to be discharged soon, while Mandela's grandson Mandla said last week that Madiba was gaining strength every day.

These statements contradict the CBS report that claims the ailing statesman is struggling to recover.