Former South African President Nelson Mandela (Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images News)

South Africa's 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, is responding to medical treatment after "a few difficult days" in the hospital, the country's president, Jacob Zuma, told Parliament on Wednesday.

He said that he was happy with Mandela's progress, adding, "We urge South Africans and the international community to continue to keep President Mandela and the medical team in their thoughts and prayers," Al-Jazeera reports.

Mandela was admitted to hospital in Pretoria on Saturday with a recurring lung infection.

It is his fourth hospital stay since December, and there is a growing realisation among South Africa's 53 million people that they will one day have to say goodbye to the father of the "Rainbow Nation" that Mandela tried to forge from the apartheid-era.

His eldest daughter Zenani, who is South Africa's ambassador to Argentina, was seen on Wednesday entering the heavily guarded clinic where only close family members are being allowed.

Zenani as well as the elder statesman's two other daughters, Makaziwe and Zindzi, and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, have visited him daily this week as have other family members.


Read more at Al-Jazeera.

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