South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma on Saturday said the nation continues to pray for Nelson Mandela’s health as the 94-year-old beloved leader remains in critical but stable condition.

“We hope very soon he will be out of hospital,” Mr. Zuma said.

During a press conference with visiting President Barack Obama, Mr. Zuma called Mr. Mandela the “founding President of our democracy who is much loved by our people and the world.”

Mr. Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital three weeks ago with a recurring lung infection.

Mr. Obama plans to visit privately on Saturday with Mr. Mandela’s relatives, but doesn’t intend to see the man he has called a “personal hero.”

Mr. Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected President in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison for his fight against racist white rule.

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