Former South African leader Nelson Mandela will probably spend Christmas Day in hospital, it has been reported.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said the physicians caring for Mandela had given no indication of an “imminent discharge” from a hospital in Pretoria, the capital, according to IOL, a South African news website.
Mandela went into hospital on December 8. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also had gallstone surgery.
Officials said his condition had improved and that he was responding to treatment.
President Jacob Zuma acknowledged several days ago that Mandela’s condition had been serious.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he is praying for a prompt recovery for Mandela.
Radio 702, a South African station, today broadcast an interview with Tutu in which he said he exchanged text messages about Mandela with the anti-apartheid icon’s wife, Graca Machel.
Archbishop Tutu and Mr Mandela are Nobel laureates because of their role in the struggle against white minority rule.
Mr Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years and served one five-year term as president after he was elected in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.