12/13/2012 05:49 EST | Updated 02/12/2013 05:12 EST

Nelson Mandela: Health Improving, As Ant-Apartheid Icon Recuperates In Hospital

A mural depicting former South African President Nelson Mandela at the Alexandra township in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, to honor Mandela's 94th birthday which was celebrated on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Mandela who was admitted to the 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria at the weekend. South Africa's presidency says former President Nelson Mandela is suffering from a recurring lung infection and is responding to treatment. The statement Tuesday, Dec. from presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon is "receiving appropriate treatment and he is responding to the treatment." (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa - South African President Jacob Zuma says anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is "recuperating" after falling ill from a recurring lung infection.

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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