"The health of the former President remains much the same," a statement from by Zuma's office said.

Mandela, who spent 27 years in apartheid jail before becoming South Africa's first black leader, has faced several health scares.

He was discharged on September 1 after nearly three months in hospital for a lung infection and is under intensive care at home.

The government has refused to give details about his condition, citing the need for privacy, but said "he continues to recover."

South Africa's presidency said that Zuma had conveyed the well wishes of the leaders who attended a recent Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka.

Zuma's visit came a day after Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, said the leader remains "quite ill" and is using facial gestures to communicate with his family and doctors.

Winnie said that Mandela was not on life support but was no longer talking "because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear (fluid from) the lungs".


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