Mandela's condition stable: S. African president

Former South African president Nelson Mandela is in a stable condition and responding well to treatment, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

Zuma made the remarks after paying a visit to Mandela who has been hospitalized since March 27.

Zuma said he received a briefing from doctors which indicate continuous improvement in his condition. "Madiba is stable and we are thankful that he is responding well to treatment and that he is much better. We remain thankful for all the support to the family during this difficult time," Zuma said.

The president also met members of Mandela's family who expressed gratitude for the support from South Africans and people from all over the world, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

Mandela, 94, was re-admitted to an unidentified hospital due to the recurrence of his lung infection.

On March 9, Mandela was admitted to a hospital in Pretoria for a scheduled medical check-up to manage existing conditions in line with his age. He was discharged one day later.

Mandela served as South African president from 1994 to 1999. He had spent 27 years in prison before elected the first black president in the country after the end of apartheid.

His lung problem was the result of tuberculosis developed when he was in prison.

Mandela's failing health has been the focus of attention in recent years.

On Dec. 8, he was taken to a Pretoria hospital for a lung infection and gallstones. He stayed there for 18 days. This was Mandela's longest hospital stay since 2001, when he underwent seven weeks of radiotherapy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.