Former South African leader Nelson Mandela is "in good spirits" and "making steady progress" as he recovers from a recurring lung infection.

The civil rights icon, 94, was hospitalised on Wednesday night (27Mar13) as he battled the illness, four months after he spent almost three weeks under doctors' care for the same condition in December (12).

President Jacob Zuma urged his fellow country folk to pray for the ailing politician, nicknamed Madiba, earlier this week (begs25Mar13), but he now insists there is no cause for alarm as Mandela is doing well.

A statement issued on Friday (29Mar13) reads: "Mandela is in good spirits and enjoyed a full breakfast this morning. The doctors report that he is making steady progress. He remains under treatment and observation in hospital."

Zuma adds to the Bbc, "The country must not panic, Madiba is fine."