South African president visits Mandela in hospital; Mandela said to be responding to treatment

South Africa's president has visited former leader Nelson Mandela in a hospital, and the presidency says Mandela continues to respond to treatment.

The office of President Jacob Zuma says he saw Mandela on Saturday morning in Pretoria, the capital, and assured the anti-apartheid icon that he has the support of all South Africans and the world.

Mandela, who is 94, has been hospitalized since Dec. 8. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also had gallstone surgery.

Zuma said Thursday that Mandela had been seriously ill but had steadily improved.

Zuma is urging South Africans to continue praying for Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years for his role as a leader of the struggle against white racist rule. He served one five-year term as president.