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Mandela gaining strength every day: grandson

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-22 20:31

Mandela gaining strength every day: grandson
Well-wishers hold a giant banner with an image of former South African President Nelson Mandela during a celebration to mark Mandela's 95th birthday at the Angel de la Independencia monument in Mexico City July 18, 2013.  [Photo/Agencies]

JOHANNESBURG - Ailing former president Nelson Mandela is gaining strength every day, his grandson Mandla said on Monday.

Mandela will have his life support machines switched off, Mandla said in a statement after visiting his grandfather over the weekend.

The improvement in Mandela's health is encouraging, Mandla said, adding that his grandfather continues to prove he has a fighting spirit.

Mandela turned 95 on July 18. President Jacob Zuma said at the time that Mandela "is responding to treatment" and his health "is steadily improving" from a recurring lung infection, although he remained in a critical but stable condition.

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki said on the day that he was confident of Mandela's recovery.

Mandela's elder daughter Zindzi was even more optimistic about Mandela's heath. She said last week that her father was making "dramatic" progress and "might be going home soon."

Since July 18, there has been no update on Mandela's condition from the government.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was rushed to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 after his condition deteriorated. This is his fourth and also the longest hospital stay since December last year.

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