FILE This May 16, 2011 file photo supplied by the South African Government Communications and Information Services, GCIS, shows former South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel after they cast an early ballot in upcoming local elections at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. 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, Dec. 22, 2012, 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. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane-GCIS, File) (The Associated Press)
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Police enter the home of former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012. Mandela will probably spend Christmas Day in a hospital because his doctors want to be satisfied his health has improved satisfactorily before sending him home, a South African media outlet reported Sunday. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell) (The Associated Press)
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's presidency says former leader Nelson Mandela will spend Christmas Day in hospital.
The presidency says in a statement that Mandela's doctors confirmed the news on Monday. The anti-apartheid figure was admitted Dec. 8 to a hospital in Pretoria, the South African capital. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and had a procedure to remove gallstones; officials have said Mandela is improving and is responding to treatment.
South African President Jacob Zuma says the whole country is behind Mandela and he is urging people to keep the former president in their thoughts on Christmas Day and throughout the holiday season. Zuma describes Mandela, who was imprisoned under apartheid for 27 years, as an "ardent fighter."