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Monday
Jul222013

Mandela 'Getting Stronger and Stronger Every Day,' Says Grandson

JUDA NGWENYA/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: South African President Jacob Zuma visited Nelson Mandela in the hospital Monday afternoon.  Zuma’s office then issued a statement, saying, "Mandela is still in a critical condition in hospital but shows sustained improvement."

(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela is entering his sixth week in the hospital.

The civil rights leader has been at Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria since June 8, when he was admitted for a recurring lung infection.

Quoting Mandela's grandson, Mandla Mandela, local newspapers report the Nobel Peace Prize winner is “getting stronger and stronger every day."

Mandla tells the newspapers he visited his grandfather at the hospital on Sunday and says the improvement in his health "flies in the face of those who have been busy spreading lies that Madiba [as Nelson is affectionately known] is in a ’vegetative state’ and just waiting for his [life] support machines to be switched off."

The last official update on Nelson's condition came on his 95th birthday last Thursday, when the office of South African President Jacob Zuma issued a statement saying "doctors have confirmed that [Nelson's] health is steadily improving."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio