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A grandson of Nelson Mandela said Tuesday the ailing former president is very much alive,even with reports that he is in a critical condition.

“The old man is very much alive” ,Ndaba Mandela, whose father Magkatho was Mandela’s second son with first wife Evelyn Mase said in Pretoria.

He asked all his well-wishers to celebrate the life of the anti-apartheid leader ahead of his 95th birthday.

“When I speak to him, he responds,” Ndaba Mandela said. “Let us not be in a spirit of sadness but a spirit of celebration because the old man is still with us today.”

Nelson Mandela Recovery

Nelson Mandela

On Monday one native whose husband had suffered from Nelson Mandela’s condition said he will get better.  Sixty six-year-old Vonni Venter from Pretoria who visited Nelson Mandela with her husband noted that her husband Jan Venter (76) also suffered from a recurring lung infection and heart problem and underwent two bypasses.

She urged South Africans to be hopeful that Mandela will recover.

Well-wishers from around the world continue to stop outside his Johannesburg home and the Pretoria hospital.