POSTED: 02:45 a.m. HST, Jun 29, 2013
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa's president says the nation continues to pray for Nelson Mandela's health as the 94-year-old beloved leader remains in critical but stable condition.
President Jacob Zuma said Saturday: "We hope very soon he will be out of hospital."
During a press conference with visiting President Barack Obama, Zuma called Mandela the "founding president of our democracy who is much loved by our people and the world."
Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital three weeks ago with a recurring lung infection.
Obama plans to visit privately Saturday with Mandela's relatives, but doesn't intend to see the man he has called a "personal hero."
Mandela became South Africa's first democratically elected president in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison for his fight against racist white rule.