South African President Jacob Zuma has announced Nelson Mandela is responding to treatment but remains in a critical condition.
The former president and global statesman, 94, has been in hospital battling a recurring lung infection since June 8.
President Jacob Zuma’s statement urged the public to continue “providing support and showering him with love”.
People who have seen him say he remains responsive.
“We are encouraged that Madiba is responding to treatment,” said Jacob Zuma, referring to Nelson Mandela by his clan name.
The head of Nelson Mandela’s Thembu tribe, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, told the AFP news agency on Wednesday that he was “conscious” when he visited his hospital in Pretoria.
“He could not talk, but he recognized me and made a few gestures of acknowledgement, like moving his eyes,” he said.
Last week, Jacob Zuma denied reports that Nelson Mandela was in a vegetative state.
Nelson Mandela is revered across the world for his role in the fight against white minority rule in South Africa.
He was jailed for 27 years, before being freed in 1990 and elected president in 1994.
Since Nelson Mandela was hospitalized, his family’s battle for control of his legacy has escalated.
Last week, his grandson Mandla Mandela lost a court case brought by rival family members over the burial site of Nelson Mandela and three of his children.
Mandla Mandela had relocated the bodies to his village of Mvezo without the rest of the family’s consent. However, the court ruled that the bodies should be reinterred in the family graveyard in Qunu. He may now face criminal charges for alleged grave tampering.
After visiting Nelson Mandela, King Dalindyebo said he was doing all he can to give the former leader peace of mind over the affair.