Former South African president Thabo Mbeki says Nelson Mandela is improving in hospital as he fights a recurrent lung infection and is not going to die soon.
The 94-year-old "father of the nation" who became South Africa's first black president is spending his 14th day in hospital. He is in a serious condition.
Mr Mbeki said on local radio he is in close contact with the family and medical staff of the man he succeeded in 1999.
Mr Mandela's latest hospitalisation, the fourth in seven months, has been met with a sense of resignation among many South Africans, who have come to terms with their icon's mortality.