S. African President Zuma says Mandela shows steady improvement

July 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

PRETORIA, South Africa, July 22 (UPI) -- South African President Jacob Zuma said Monday former President Nelson Mandela was still in critical condition but was showing sustained improvement.

Zuma said in a statement that he had visited Mandela, whose 95th birthday was Thursday, in the hospital Monday afternoon, and assured him of the love and support of all South Africans.

The statement also included good wishes directed to Mandela by the family of the late chief Albert Luthuli, who, like Mandela was a Nobel laureate and served as president of the African National Congress.

Mandela, who was incarcerated for 27 years during the fight to end South Africa's apartheid system before coming the country's first black president in 1994.

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