Johannesburg: Nelson Mandela, who is recovering from illness, is now "comfortable and relaxed", South African President Jacob Zuma said after visiting the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon.

Zuma met Mandela on his way to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) football final on Sunday, his office said.

"He had the brightest smile, and it was exciting to discuss with him the upcoming State of the Nation address and the AFCON tournament," Zuma said in the statement adding that Mandela was "comfortable and relaxed" watching television.

Mandela was at home in Johannesburg, where he has been recovering after an 18-day stay in hospital last December for a lung infection and gallstone surgery.

South Africa's first black President from 1994 to 1999, Mandela spent 27 years in jail under the apartheid regime.

He was last seen in public at the closing ceremony of the 2010 football World Cup hosted by South Africa.

Meanwhile, to commemorate Mandela's 95th birthday this year, he will be honoured at a boxing tournament at the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco on March 30, it was announced.

Mandela, a keen boxing enthusiast and boxer himself in his youth, will turn 95 on July 18.

The tournament is expected to help raise public awareness for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital, a project to build a state-of-the-art research and care facility for children throughout Africa.


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