"I visited him yesterday and he was watching television with headphones,'' said Zindzi Mandela in an interview with Britain's Sky TV. "He gave us a huge smile and raised his hand ... He responds with his eyes and his hands.''
Mandela is gaining "energy and strength. I should think he will be going home anytime soon,'' Zindzi said. The description is a significant improvement from court documents filed by the family earlier this month which said he was on life support and near death. Mandela has been in a Pretoria hospital since June 8 and officials say his condition is critical but stable.
The news of the improvement in Mandela's health will boost his supporters in South Africa and around the world who are preparing to celebrate his birth anniversary on Thursday, a day declared by the United Nations as a way to recognise the Nobel Prize winner's contribution to reconciliation.
Interest in Nelson Mandela International Day has ignited as a result of the former South African president's hospitalisation and people find ways to honour his ideals.
President Jacob Zuma will mark the birthday by overseeing the donation of houses to poor white families in the Pretoria.