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South African president visits Nelson Mandela in hospital, says former leader is improving

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, July 18, 2012 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela as he celebrates his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa. A South African official says Mandela is breathing "without difficulty" after having a procedure to clear fluid in his lung area that was caused by pneumonia. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam, File)The Associated Press

  • A giant statue of former president Nelson Mandela on Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg stands high Monday, April 1, 2013 in Johannesburg. The presidential spokesman says former president Mandela spent Monday with family members in the hospital where he is being treated for a fifth day for a recurring lung infection that developed into pneumonia. The 94-year-old who helped free South Africa from white minority rule has had weak lungs ever since he quarried stone on Robben Island during some of his 27 years of imprisonment. He contracted tuberculosis there. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)The Associated Press

  • Children play ball in front of a giant portrait of former president Nelson Mandela in a park in Soweto, South Africa, Sunday, March 31, 2013. Mandela remains in a hospital while he receives treatment for a recurrence of pneumonia. Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj says there are no updates on 94 year old Mandela since an official statement Saturday on his condition. That statement reported the anti-apartheid leader was breathing without difficulty after having a procedure to clear fluid in his lung area. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)The Associated Press

South Africa's president says Nelson Mandela is responding well to treatment for pneumonia in a hospital.

A statement from President Jacob Zuma's office says he visited 94-year-old Mandela on Thursday and was informed by doctors that the former president's condition is improving.

The statement quotes Zuma as saying that Mandela is stable and responding well to treatment.

Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on the night of March 27. It is his third trip to a hospital since December, when he was treated for a lung infection and also had a procedure to remove gallstones. Earlier in March, he spent a night in a hospital for what officials said was a scheduled medical test.