gracaThe wife of Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, has thanked the thousands of people around the world who have wished him well during his stay in hospital.

She said the messages had lightened “the burden of anxiety” and brought “love, comfort and hope”.

Mr Mandela, 94, is making a sustained recovery but remains in a serious condition, President Jacob Zuma said.

South Africa’s first black president is in hospital for the third time this year.

He is revered for leading the fight against white minority rule and then preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years. He left power after five years as president.

Ms Machel has been at her husband’s bedside regularly since he was taken to hospital on 8 June with the recurrence of a lung infection.

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