S. African president: Prayers continue for Mandela

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PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa's president says the nation continues to pray for Nelson Mandela's health and well-being as the 94-year-old beloved leader remains hospitalized in critical condition.

President Jacob Zuma made the comments Saturday during a press conference with visiting President Barack Obama.

Zuma called Mandela the "founding president of our democracy who is much loved by our people and the world."

The South African government has said that Mandela's condition is stable but remains critical. He was admitted to a Pretoria hospital three weeks ago with a recurring lung infection.

Obama plans to visit privately Saturday with Mandela's relatives, but doesn't intend to see the man he has called a "personal hero."

Mandela became South Africa's first democratically elected president in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison.

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