Zuma Joins Family in Saying Mandela Is Getting Stronger

Nelson Mandela’s health is improving and he’s getting stronger after spending more than six weeks in the hospital to treat a recurring lung infection, according to the government and his family.

Mandela is getting “stronger and stronger everyday,” Mandla, his grandson, said in an e-mailed statement today. “Former President Mandela is still in a critical condition in hospital but shows sustained improvement,” President Jacob Zuma said in a separate statement after visiting him.

Mandela turned 95 last week in a Pretoria hospital where he has been treated since June 8. The former president spent 27 years in prison for his opposition to white, minority rule, including 18 years on Robben Island where he contracted tuberculosis. This is his fourth, and longest, stay in the hospital since December.

Mandela won the Nobel Peace prize in 1993 and became the nation’s first black president a year later when his African National Congress won elections. He stepped down in 1999.

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