JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Former President Nelson Mandela began responding better to treatment Wednesday morning for a recurring lung infection after "a difficult last few days," South Africa's president said.
President Jacob Zuma told parliament that he is happy with the progress the 94-year-old is making after his hospitalization Saturday.
Mandela spent a fifth straight day Wednesday in a Pretoria hospital, where he was visited by one of his daughters and two granddaughters.
Zuma noted that Wednesday marked the 49th anniversary of the sentencing of Mandela to life in prison in 1964. He said "our thoughts" are with Mandela and his family "on this crucial historical anniversary."
"We are very happy with the progress that he is now making following a difficult last few days," Zuma said. "We appreciate the messages of support from all over the world."
Zuma on Wednesday applauded the legacy of Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists. South Africa's government disbanded its official policy of apartheid — racial segregation and discrimination — in 1994.