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Jun 27, 2013 09:53 AM EDT

Nelson Mandela Health Update 2013: South African President Jacob Zuma Said Mandela's Health is Improving, Daughter Said 'He's Still There'

Nelson Mandela
(Photo : REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)

For 20 days, Nelson Mandela has been in a Pretoria hospital, and on Thursday, four of his grandchildren paid him a visit carrying bouquets of flowers.

The former South African president has been in critical condition since Sunday.

According to CBS News, the grandchildren arrived at the hospital following an urgent summons issued to all of Mandela's family on Thursday morning. Just one day prior, South African President Jacob Zuma cancelled a trip to Mozambique over concern for Mandela's condition.

On Wednesday, it emerged that the 94-year-old had deteriorated further during the week, and CBS News sources confirmed that he was on life support.

Although these sources said that Mandela has been unresponsive for days, the former president's daughter said Thursday morning that he was "still there."

"I won't lie, it doesn't look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes," she told South Africa's SABC radio. "He's still there. He might be waning off, but he's still there."

Further complicating the picture of Mandela's health, Zuma issued a statement Thursday suggesting the ill statesman was actually getting better.

"He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night," Zuma wrote. "The medical team continues to do a sterling job."

Keep checking back with us for more updates on Mandela's health.


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