S. African president: Prayers continue for Mandela

Associated Press
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, talks with South African President Jacob Zuma at the Union Building on Saturday, June 29, 2013, in Pretoria, South Africa. The visit comes at a poignant time, with former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela ailing in a Johannesburg hospital. The White House issued a statement Saturday that President Barack Obama plans to visit privately with relatives of former South African President Nelson Mandela, but doesn't intend to see the critically ill anti-apartheid activist he has called a "personal hero." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa's president says the nation continues to pray for Nelson Mandela's health and well-being as the 94-year-old beloved leader remains hospitalized in critical condition.

President Jacob Zuma made the comments Saturday 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."

The South African government has said that Mandela's condition is stable but remains critical. He 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.

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