Mandela responds to treatment

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:27 p.m.

JOHANNESBURG — Former President Nelson Mandela began responding better to treatment on Wednesday 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 that the 94-year-old is making since his hospitalization on Saturday.

Mandela spent a fifth consecutive 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.”

Zuma 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.

Mandela, the leader of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, spent 27 years in prison during apartheid rule.

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