Nelson Mandela making "steady improvement," South Africa gov't says

South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, seen in a July 2002 file photo. Getty

Johannesburg South Africa's government says Nelson Mandela "continues to make steady improvement" as he spends a 7th day in a hospital being treated for a recurring lung infection that developed into pneumonia.

Admirers around the world have sent prayers and good wishes to the 94-year-old who helped end white minority rule and avoided civil war by his insistence on reconciliation despite being jailed for 27 years.

A brief government statement said Mandela "continues to respond satisfactorily to treatment."

It said he has been visited by his family. Reporters saw his wife, Graca Machel, leave the hospital on Wednesday.

The government gave no indication when Mandela might leave the hospital. He contracted tuberculosis when he was jailed for 27 years by the apartheid government.

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