Hospitalised former statesman Nelson Mandela is "recuperating" after receiving treatment for a lung infection, South African President Jacob Zuma said Thursday.
Ahead of the unveiling of a Mandela statue in the central city of Bloemfontein, Zuma indicated the anti-apartheid icon, who has been in hospital for six days, was recovering.
"Madiba is recuperating from a lung infection at a Pretoria hospital," he said using Mandela's clan name.
"We wish him a speedy recovery and assure him yet again, of the love and support of many in the country and abroad."
Next week Bloemfontein will host the ANC's five-yearly elective conference.
Zuma who faces a challenge to leadership from within the ANC, paid praise to his predecessor, describing him as "a man who became a symbol of both our struggle for freedom and the free and democratic South Africa."