Today's statement was the first time that officials said Nelson Mandela is suffering from pneumonia.
South African presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said the former president had fluid on the lung caused by pneumonia, by he was now breathing more easily because the liquid had been "tapped".
Previous statements said he had been suffering from a lung infection.
More top news
Comedian Peter Kay has said he is "thrilled" to star in a adaptation of broadcaster Danny Baker's autobiography.
MPs have warned of legal loopholes are allowing police to store photographs of innocent people to use with facial recognition systems.
One of the great tragedies of the First World War is the number of youths who lied about their age to enlist particularly in the Royal Navy.