Mandela gets Christmas wishes, looks 'much better'
10:45a.m. EST December 25, 2012
Doctors are being careful with the former South African leader's health because of his age.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Former South African leader Nelson Mandela looks "much better" after medical treatment and doctors are pleased with his progress, President Jacob Zuma said after visiting the anti-apartheid icon in a hospital on Christmas Day.
Zuma joined Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, and other family members in wishing a Merry Christmas to Mandela at his bedside, according to the president's office.
"We found him in good spirits," Zuma said in a statement. "He shouted my clan name, Nxamalala, as I walked into the ward! He was happy to have visitors on this special day and is looking much better. The doctors are happy with the progress that he is making."
Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years under apartheid, the system of white minority rule that was eventually dismantled, opening the way to South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994. Mandela, a Nobel laureate, served one five-year term as president before retiring.