Zuma made the comments Thursday while renaming an airport in Bloemfontein.
Zuma said Mandela "is recuperating from a lung infection at a Pretoria hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery and assure him yet again, of the love and support of many in the country and abroad."
Mandela is 94 years old and was admitted Saturday to 1 Military Hospital near South Africa's capital, Pretoria.
Mandela is revered for being a leader of the struggle against racist white rule in South Africa and for preaching reconciliation once he emerged from prison in 1990 after 27 years. He served one five-year term as president before retiring from public life.
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