Johannesburg:  South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela is looking much better, although he is still receiving medical treatment at a Pretoria hospital, President Jacob Zuma said.

Zuma made the remarks after visiting Mandela to wish him a merry Christmas Tuesday, reported Xinhua.

"He is in good spirits, and he shouted my clan name Nxamalala as I walked into his ward," Zuma said. "He was happy to have visitors on this special day."

The doctors at the hospital are happy with the progress that Mandela is making, according to the president.

However, the doctors did not disclose when Mandela would be discharged from the hospital.

On Dec 8, Mandela was flown to the administrative capital of Pretoria from his Eastern Cape home in Qunu, starting his longest stay in hospital since he was freed over two decades ago.

He was diagnosed with a lung infection, and underwent gallstone surgery, according to statements by the presidency.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for the movement of the national liberation and became the first democratically-elected president of South Africa in 1994 after the end of apartheid.


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