PRETORIA, South Africa – Nelson Mandela is intensive care as he recovers from a recurring lung infection.
The 94-year-old former president and civil rights leader remains in serious but stable condition, according to President Jacob Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj.
“President Zuma reiterates his call to for South Africa to pray for Madiba (Mandela) and his family at this time,” Maharaj said today.
Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, was by her husband’s side as family members visited the hospital. The Mandela family has not released an official statement, but his daughter Zindzi told The Guardian Newspaper, “I’ve seen my father and he’s well. He’s a fighter.”
Zuma’s office announced Saturday that Mandela’s condition had deteriorated, and he was taken to the hospital in the morning. It’s the fourth time the Nobel Peace Prize winner has been hospitalized in the last six months.
Families throughout South Africa prayed for Mandela’s recovery as they attended church services Sunday.
The Rev. Sebastian Rousso greeted the faithful at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto, which served as a significant landmark during the anti-apartheid movement. Rousso described Mandela as a symbol of reconciliation and said he played a key role “not only for ourselves as South Africans, but for the world,” the Associated Press reported.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison during his fight to end apartheid in South Africa. After his release, he was elected as the country’s first black president from 1994 to 1999.