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Family visits Mandela on fifth day in hospital

A woman walked past a lit sign supporting Nelson Mandela at his namesake shopping square in Johannesburg Monday.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A woman walked past a lit sign supporting Nelson Mandela at his namesake shopping square in Johannesburg Monday.

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela spent Monday with family members in the hospital where he was being treated for a fifth day for a recurring lung infection that developed into pneumonia.

The 94-year-old former president who helped free South Africa from white minority rule has had weak lungs ever since he quarried stone on Robben Island ­during some of his 27 years of imprisonment, when he ­contracted tuberculosis.

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Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said there was no significant change in Mandela’s condition since Sunday night, when he reported that he had spent a restful day and was comfortable.

Children wrote messages of support on stones outside his Johannesburg home: ‘‘Get well we love you.’’

Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on Wednesday.

It was his third trip to a hospital since December, when he was treated for a lung infection and had a procedure to remove gallstones.

Associated Press

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