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Former South African president says Mandela's health is improving

South Africa Mandela_family.jpg

June 14, 2013: Daughter Zenani Dlamini-Mandela and granddaughter Zoleka, right, arrive at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa. (AP)

A former South African leader says the health of Nelson Mandela is improving.

Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela as president in 1999, made the comment Thursday night in an interview with Power FM, a South African radio station.

Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who spent 27 years in prison during white racist rule, was taken to a hospital on June 8 to be treated for a recurring lung infection. The government had described his condition as serious but stable, and later said the 94-year-old Mandela was improving.

Mbeki, who served two 5-year terms as president, says he has stayed in close contact with Mandela's family and doctors.