CAPE TOWN, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela remained in a critical but stable condition, but his health continued to improve steadily, the Presidency said on Friday.
Nothing had changed from the last update on Mandela's condition issued on Aug. 11, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said.
In the last update, Maharaj quoted Mandela's medical team as saying Mandela's health was improving steadily, but he still remained in a critical condition.
Mandela was rushed to a Pretoria hospital for a recurring lung infection on June 8. Friday was his 77th day in hospital. Mandela celebrated his 95th birthday on July 18 in hospital.
On Aug. 9, his daughter Zindzi Mandela said the anti-apartheid icon could manage to sit up, a sign of great improvement in his condition.
"He's fine, Tata (father) now manages to sit up, like now he sits up in a chair for a few minutes in a day, everyday you know he becomes more alert, more responsive," Zindzi said.
Her words were the most encouraging news about Mandela's health since his hospitalization.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been suffering from a recurring lung infection, which is the result of tuberculosis developed when he was imprisoned for 27 years during the apartheid period.