Nelson Mandela's daughter says his health improving by the day


A worker passes nearby a banner with well-wishing messages left for former South African President Nelson Mandela on July 19, 2013, outside the Medi Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.



Nelson Mandela's daughter says the former South African president's health is improving by the day, and he is now able to sit up for several minutes at a time.

Zindzi Mandela told state broadcaster SABC on Friday that her father was becoming increasingly alert.

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The government has said his condition remains critical but was showing signs of improvement.

"He just doesn't have the strength of a man, he has the strength that is beyond anything that can be explained," Zindzi Mandela said. "Because even now with the challenges to his health, he somehow manages to bounce back when everyone assumes this is the end."

The 95-year-old Mandela has been hospitalized in Pretoria for the last two months with a recurring lung infection.

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Although visits by the public have dwindled since inital panic over Mandela's failing health, many are still making the journey to the hospital, according to News 24.

"My prayer is that they discharge him soon," Portia Nzembe, who stopped by on her way to church, told state media Saturday. "No one enjoys a hospital stay. The whole country is on edge as long as he stays here in hospital.

“I have been coming to this entrance for the past two months, whenever I get the chance.”