The former wife of Nelson Mandela has thanked the public for the overwhelming support they have given the extended family, and said she was pleased to report that the former president is "on the mend." Speaking outside the hospital to ITV News she said:
We thank you South Africa, for showing us how much you love your country and how much you love Tata. We cannot articulate just how deeply touched we are. I thank my colleagues for being here on behalf of all of us, I say thank you very much South Africa.
We want to tell you that it is true that Tata is on the mend, it is true that he is getting better, it is true that he is now sitting on the chair and he is able to communicate with the family.
Part of the reason the celebrations for Nelson Mandela have been so grand, that the crowds have been so big, is the fact that just a few weeks ago it seemed difficult for many South Africans to even contemplate the anti-apartheid leader celebrating his 95th birthday.
There is a real party mood in Pretoria with perhaps 1,000 people outside the gates of Mandela's hospital for what is the world's biggest birthday celebration.
Winnie Mandela, Nelson's ex-wife, came to the gates of the hospital and she thanked people for their support, for the flowers and all the cards and she gave a very positive assessment of his health - an assessment reflected by many members of his family.