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South Africa's Nelson Mandela 'responding positively' to treatment

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is "responding positively" to treatment after being admitted to a hospital with a recurrence of a lung infection. He spent nearly three weeks in hospital in December.

Anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, 94, is responding well to treatment, the government said in a statement Thursday.

"He remains under treatment and observation in hospital," the statement added.

Mandela was admitted to hospital shortly before midnight on Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma's office said in a statement on Thursday, adding that he was receiving the "best possible expert medical treatment and comfort."

Zuma also wished "Madiba," which he is fondly called in South Africa, a speedy recovery.

"We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts," he said.

Nelson Mandela back in hospital

The The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Mandela spent nearly three weeks in hospital in December with a lung infection and for surgery to remove gallstones. Earlier this month, Mandela was admitted briefly for a scheduled check up.

The December hospital stay was the longest since his release from prison in 1990 after serving 27 years for conspiring to overthrow the white-minority apartheid government.

"We have full confidence in the medical team and know that they will do everything possible to ensure recovery," the statement released by President Zuma's office said.

The name or location of the hospital was not provided.

In 1994, Mandela, who was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, became South Africa's first black president following the first all-race elections in the country.

Mandela retired from public life in 2004 and currently lives in Qunu, a village in Eastern Cape province.

hc/pfd (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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