Mandela to spend Christmas in hospital

2012-12-24 15:21 Johannesburg - Former South African president Nelson Mandela looks set to spend Christmas Eve in hospital as the presidency said no new updates were available on his condition on Monday morning.

A presidency spokesperson said a previous statement about Mandela's health that was issued on the weekend still stood.

The report said that Mandela continued to respond to treatment as his stay in a Pretoria hospital extended into its third week.

Mandela, 94, was originally flown to a hospital on 8 December. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also underwent gallstone surgery.

His current stay in hospital is his longest since he was freed over two decades ago.

Mandela has a history of lung problems having suffered from tuberculosis towards the end of the 27-years he spent in prison.

On Saturday, President Jacob Zuma asked South Africans to pray for the global icon after paying him a visit.

"We urge South Africans to continue praying for our beloved Madiba during this period. Our hearts are with the whole family and relatives."