Nelson Mandela 'has recovered from infection'

Nelson Mandela in 2008
Image caption President Mandela is revered for bringing a peaceful end to apartheid

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has recovered from a lung infection and surgery to remove gallstones, the government says.

"President Mandela has made steady progress and... continues to improve," President Jacob Zuma's office said.

Mr Mandela, 94, spent almost three weeks in hospital last month, and has since been receiving treatment at his home in Johannesburg.

It was his longest stay in hospital since he left prison in 1990.

Mr Mandela served as South Africa's first black president from 1994 to 1999 and is regarded by many as the father of the nation.

His health has been a cause of concern for many years. He first contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while detained in Robben Island prison.

He has been admitted to hospital on three occasions in the past two years.

He retired from public life in 2004 and has been rarely seen in public since.

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