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Mandela remains in critical but stable condition

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-27 20:40

CAPE TOWN - South Africa's ailing former president Nelson Mandela is still in hospital receiving treatment and remains in a critical but stable condition, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

"While wishing him good health, we also have to celebrate his legacy and learn from it, in order to build a better world," Zuma said in a statement issued by the Presidency.

Zuma is in Malaysia to receive the Lifetime Award for Global Peace from the Mahathir Global Peace Foundation on behalf of Mandela.

He spoke of Mandela's condition at the ceremony as Mandela spent his 81st day in hospital for a recurring lung infection.

Since Mandela was rushed to a Pretoria hospital on June 8, the Presidency has repeatedly declared his condition as critical but stable.

Last Saturday, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said Mandela, 95, was in an unstable condition at times, but demonstrated great resilience.

Maharaj said doctors were working hard to effect a turnaround and a further improvement in his health and to keep Mandela comfortable.

Maharaj's words dashed hopes for Mandela's quick recovery. News about Mandela's health has been fluctuant. Sometimes he was said to have showed signs of sustained improvement, while most often he was reported to be in critical but stable condition.

On Aug 9, his daughter Zindzi Mandela gave the most encouraging news when she said the anti-apartheid icon managed to sit up.

"He's fine, Tata (father) now manages to sit up, like now he sits up in a chair for a few minutes in a day, every day you know he becomes more alert more responsive," Zindzi said.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been suffering from a recurring lung infection, which is the result of tuberculosis developed when he was imprisoned during the apartheid period.

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