Mandela showing ‘sustained improvement,’ Zuma’s office says

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Nelson Mandela

(CNN) — Former South African leader Nelson Mandela still is in critical condition at a Pretoria hospital but “shows sustained improvement,” the office of South African President Jacob Zuma said Monday.

Mandela, who turned 95 last week, has been hospitalized with a lung ailment since June.

Zuma, who visited Mandela in the hospital on Monday, also said last week that Mandela was steadily improving, after weeks of describing his health as critical but stable.

Mandela, a Nobel peace laureate, spent 27 years in prison for fighting against oppression of minorities in South Africa. His history of lung problems dates to when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid, and he has battled respiratory infections over the years.

He became the nation’s first black president in 1994, four years after he was freed from prison.