Anti-apartheid icon and former South African president Nelson Mandela, who has been hospitalized since June 8, is showing “great improvement”compared to his health a few days ago, his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said Friday.
“I’m not a doctor but I can say that from what he was a few days ago, there is great improvement,” she said, “but clinically he is still unwell.”
Madikizela-Mandela spoke with reporters in Johannesburg, outside Mandela’s former home in Soweto.
President Obama landed in Johannesburg Friday on the second leg of his tour through sub-Saharan Africa. He will also visit Pretoria and Cape Town while in South Africa, before heading to Tanzania. On Sunday, he will visit Robben Island, where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison.
President Obama reiterated aboard Air Force One Friday morning that a possible visit to Mandela’s bedside would be at the discretion of the Mandela family. Asked whether the two would meet, Madikizela-Mandela replied, “How on earth would I know that?” noting she was on her way to the hospital.
Watch Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s pres conference here: