Mandela said breathing without difficulty

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 30 (UPI) --
Former South African President Nelson Mandela was breathing without difficulty during his third day of hospitalization, officials said Saturday.

Mandela, 94, was admitted to the hospital Wednesday for treatment of a lung infection. He was comfortable after a procedure to drain fluid from his lungs, the office of President Jacob Zuma said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the elder statesman was described as making "steady progress."

Mandela's lungs are believed to have been damaged while working in a prison quarry during nearly four decades of imprisonment, the BBC reported.

He was freed from prison in 1990 and served as the country's first black president from 1994 to 1999.

The hospitalization is Mandela's fourth in just over two years.


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