Johannesburg - The ANC wished former president Nelson Mandela a speedy recovery in hospital in its Christmas message on Monday.
"We call on religious organisations and other social formations to include him and his family in their prayers as we approach Christmas. We thank South Africans for the support they have already shown the elderly statesman," said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.
Mandela was said to be responding well to treatment as his stay in a Pretoria hospital extended into its third week.
He was originally flown to a hospital in Pretoria from his Eastern Cape home at Qunu on 8 December. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also underwent gallstone surgery.
Mandela has a history of lung problems having suffered from tuberculosis towards the end of the 27 years he spent in prison. His current stay in hospital is his longest since he was freed over two decades ago.
Zuma paid a visit to Mandela on Saturday and again urged the nation to keep praying for the global icon. The presidency said Mandela would be spending Christmas Day in hospital.
Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said they received confirmation of this from his doctors.
President Jacob Zuma sent messages of well-wishes to the Mandela family and urged South African to keep him in their prayers.
“We urge all South Africans to keep Tata uppermost in their thoughts at every place of worship or entertainment tomorrow on Christmas Day, and throughout the festive season," said Zuma.
"We also humbly invite all freedom loving people around the world to pray for him. He is an ardent fighter and will recover from this episode with all our support."
Mthembu also convey the ANC's Christmas wishes to all South Africans.
"The ANC wishes all South Africans a safe, rewarding and fulfilling Christmas and new year. Let us take this time to spread the spirit of goodwill and friendship. We also encourage road users to be careful and think of others. Let us take responsibility and reduce the already high carnage on our roads."