Nelson Mandela is responding well to treatment for a liver infection after being admitted into a South African hospital, a presidential spokesperson revealed Friday. Mandela is said to be making progress, but officials have still asked that he remain in the public’s prayers.
The 94-year-old has been hospitalized a few times over the last six months,stemming from the liver infection.
Former South Africa leader Nelson Mandela was in “good spirits” Friday, officials said, as he spent a second day in hospital where he is being treated for a recurring lung infection.
“The doctors report that he is making steady progress,” said a statement from the country’s presidency, adding that the 94-year-old had “enjoyed a full breakfast.”
Earlier, South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, sought to reassure his country over Mandela’s health, saying in a BBC interview that people “must not panic.”
However, he appeared to agree with the suggestion that South Africa should prepare for Mandela’s eventual death.
“Is this a time for us to be aware of what is inevitable?” asked the BBC’s Lerato Mbele. “Well, I would imagine so,” replied Zuma.
Rumors that the world-renowned figure– who went from being incarcerated over his anti-apartheid efforts, to president of South Africa–is near death have been swirling, likely prompting President Zuma to ask for prayers.
Doctor’s have not yet revealed when Mandela will be released.