Mandela in hospital at Christmas

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Former South African leader Nelson Mandela will probably spend Christmas Day in hospital, it has been reported.

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said the physicians caring for Mr Mandela had given no indication of an “imminent discharge” from a hospital in Pretoria, the capital.

Mr Mandela was admitted to hospital on 8 December. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also had gallstone surgery.

Officials said his condition has improved and that he was responding to treatment.

Compatriot Archbishop 
Desmond Tutu said he is praying for a prompt recovery for Mr Mandela.

In an interview, Archbishop Tutu said he exchanged text messages about Mr Mandela with the anti-apartheid icon’s wife, Graca Machel.

Mr Mandela and Archbishop Tutu are Nobel laureates because of their role in the struggle against white minority rule.

Mr Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years and served one five-year term as president after he was elected in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.