Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, remains in a serious but stable condition in a Pretoria hospital, the latest update has announced.
The South African presidency said Nelson Mandela’s condition was unchanged and confirmed that he was in intensive care.
Prayers have been said in churches across the country for ex-President Nelson Mandela, who is being treated for a lung infection.
Nelson Mandela, 94, was taken to hospital early on Saturday, the third time this year he has been admitted.
The presidency said he had been ill for some days at his Johannesburg home, with a recurrence of his long-standing lung problems.
Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital after his condition worsened at 01:30 on Saturday.
The government said in a statement: “President Jacob Zuma reiterates his call for South Africa to pray for Madiba and the family during this time.” Madiba is Nelson Mandela’s clan name.
In releasing the latest update, presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj also denied that visitors were being blocked from seeing Nelson Mandela.
Mac Maharaj said: “The reality is that the normal procedures when a patient is under intensive care are applying from the medical side.
“Therefore there are limitations on visitors and, you know, that when a person is in intensive care the doctors only allow some very close people to be there – it is not the way it is being presented in the media.”
There is a quiet hope that the man who led the fight against apartheid may regain his strength once again.
Many took heart from a visit on Sunday by Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Zindzi, who said that her father was “well” and “a fighter”.
Nelson Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, cancelled a scheduled appearance in London on Saturday to remain at her husband’s bedside.
He served as president from 1994 to 1999.
Nelson Mandela was previously imprisoned for 27 years, and is believed to have suffered damaged lungs while working in a prison quarry.
He contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while being held in jail on the windswept Robben Island.
Nelson Mandela retired from public life in 2004 and has been rarely seen in public since.
Nelson Mandela: Key dates
- 1918 Born in the Eastern Cape
- 1943 Joins African National Congress
- 1956 Charged with high treason, but charges dropped
- 1962 Arrested, convicted of sabotage, sentenced to five years in prison
- 1964 Charged again, sentenced to life
- 1990 Freed from prison
- 1993 Wins Nobel Peace Prize
- 1994 Elected first black president
- 1999 Steps down as leader
- 2004 Retires from public life