Nelson Mandela is making "steady improvement" as he spends a seventh day in hospital being treated for a recurring lung infection that developed into pneumonia.
Admirers around the world have sent prayers and good wishes to the 94-year-old who helped end white minority rule and avoided civil war by his insistence on reconciliation despite being jailed for 27 years.
A brief government statement said Mr Mandela "continues to respond satisfactorily to treatment." It said he has been visited by his family.
The government gave no indication when he might leave the hospital. He contracted tuberculosis when he was jailed for 27 years by the apartheid government.