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Mandela nears a month in hospital

JOHANNESBURG – Former South African leader Nelson Mandela has been in a hospital for nearly a month.

There was no official update Saturday morning on the condition of the 94-year-old former president, who is in critical but stable condition after being diagnosed with a recurring lung infection. He was taken to a hospital in Pretoria, the capital, on June 8.

The government has said Mandela is not in a vegetative state, contrary to recent court documents. A close friend told Sky News that the anti-apartheid leader was conscious and responsive earlier this week.

There has been an outpouring of concern in South Africa and around the world for Mandela, a transformative figure who led the tense shift from white rule to democracy two decades ago in a spirit of reconciliation.

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