Mandela making 'remarkable' progress

Nelson Mandela is making "remarkable" progress in hospital and is even able to watch television, his daughter said Wednesday, the eve of the anti-apartheid icon's 95th birthday.

"He is making remarkable progress," Zindzi Mandela told Britain's Sky News.

Zindzi said she visited Mandela on Tuesday and saw him "watching TV with his headphones".

He "gave us a huge smile, and he responds very well... with his eyes, and he nods and sometimes he lifts his hand like to shake your hand," she told the broadcaster.

Zindzi, Mandela's youngest daughter with his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, confessed that earlier on the family was deeply worried about his condition.

"There was a time that we were all extremely anxious and worried, and we were prepared for the worst," she said. "But he continues to amaze us every day."

Mandela's wife Graca Machel last Friday said he was responding to treatment and that she was less anxious now about his health than she had been in previous weeks.

Mandela was admitted into a Pretoria hospital on June 8 with a recurrent lung infection.

His condition has since been described as critical but stable.

The update from Zindzi is the latest in a series of upbeat accounts, which seem to suggest that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's condition has improved markedly.

Mandela's successor as president, Thabo Mbeki, even suggested he might be going home soon.