Nelson Mandela appears to be in good spirits in hospital


Former South African President Nelson Mandela (C) celebrate his birthday surrounded by his grandchildren during an interview with the media at his house in Qunu, on July 18, 2008.


Themba Hadebe

Aging South African hero Nelson Mandela remains in a Pretoria hospital but appears to be in good spirits, well-wishers note, while South African president Jacob Zuma implored his people to avoid panic over their icon's most recent health scare.

Mandela was admitted to the hospital on March 27th with a recurring lung infection, but is said to have eaten a full breakfast this morning and appears to be in fairly good condition.

Read more from GlobalPost: Nelson Mandela in hospital for lung infection

"It's a matter one doesn't have to discuss. I am 84 – every one of us wants to keep on going," said Mandela's long-time lawyer George Bizos to the Telegraph.

"I think that he has always had confidence in members of the (health) profession and he has the love and care of (his wife) Graca and members of his family and a few of his friends that go to him from time to time. I think he enjoys that and would like to continue."

The anti-apartheid hero remains a uniting symbol for South Africa, and current president Jacob Zuma implored his people to remain calm, in the face of distressing news about Mandela's health.

"Of course I have been saying to people, you should bear in mind Madiba is no longer that young and if he goes for check-ups every now and again, I don't think people must be alarmed about it," said Zuma, according to the Guardian. "I would like to really say the country must not panic."

US President Barack Obama expressed his own well-wishes for Mandela's continuing health this week, stating that he was "deeply concerned" for the veteran leaders welfare.

“Obviously we’re all deeply concerned with Nelson Mandela’s health. He’s a hero, I think, to all of us,” said Obama, according to ABC News. “We will be keeping him in our thoughts and prayers and his entire family.”