Former S African President confident of Mandela's recovery

Updated: 2013-07-14 04:24


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CAPE TOWN - Former South African President Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday he is confident that ailing anti- apartheid icon Nelson Mandela will be discharged from hospital following improvement in his health.

Mbeki praised Mandela's medical team, saying the doctors "are doing an excellent job".

"I know the doctors who are working with him are very good people, very good doctors and are doing an excellent job. I am quite certain that one of these days Madiba will go back home," Mbeki was quoted as saying by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

"One of these days the doctors will agree that he can go and stay at home rather than in hospital," Mbeki said.

Mbeki's upbeat words came after Mandela's wife Graca Michel said on Friday that Mandela "continues to respond positively to treatment".

While Mandela continues to undergo treatment at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria for a recurring lung infection, the whole country is gearing up for Mandela's 95th birthday on July 18, which is also Nelson Mandela International Day.

South Africans are urged to donate 67 minutes of their time to the needy on Mandela Day.

The objective is to make a positive change for the duration of 67 minutes, signifying the 67 years Madiba sacrificed for South Africans.

This year's event will take place under the theme of "Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day" with focus on food security, shelter and literacy.