Johannesburg: The South African government on Tuesday said that Nelson Mandela remains in a "critical but stable" condition after more than one month of intensive hospital treatment.

President Jacob Zuma thanked public for their "dignified gatherings outside the hospital" in Pretoria. Zuma also thanked the international community for ongoing messages of support to Madiba and his family.

"With less than two weeks to go before the old man's 95th birthday on 18 July, it's time to celebrate his life. The old man is very much alive," said grandson Ndaba Mandela.

"When I speak to him he responds. Let us not be in a spirit of sadness but a spirit of celebration because the old man is still with us today,” he added.

"He is communicating with us, we are staying positive," Mandela’s granddaughters Zaziwe and Zamaswazi wrote on twitter.

(Agencies)

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