South African President Jacob Zuma had good news to report regarding Nelson Mandela Tuesday. The 94-year-old is in good spirits and doctors are happy with his progress, Zuma said after visiting the former leader in the hospital Christmas morning.
President Zuma also said that Mr. Mandela did not allow being in the hospital to ruin his Christmas spirit.
"He was happy to have vistors and is looking much better," said Zuma according CNN.
Mandela has been at an undisclosed hospital in Pretoria hospital for the last two weeks where he has been treated for a lung infection and gallstones, BBC News reports.
On December 15, he had the gallstones successfully removed through endoscopic surgery, CNN reports.
According to The Guardian, this is the longest period of time Mr. Mandela has spent in a hospital since his release in 1990, after 27 years in prison.
Mandela became the first black president of South Africa on May 10, 1994, and served for five years.
Prayers were said for Mandela at midnight masses and Christmas Day services across South Africa. The African National Congress and the Zulus' King Goodwill Zwelithini had sent their good wishes and call for prayers earlier.
Mr. Mandela has been admitted to the hospital on three occasions in the last two years, BBC News reports.
He has not appeared in public since South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup.