“He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night,” Mr Zuma said after speaking to the 94-year-old’s medical team.
South Africa’s first black president – an icon of the anti-apartheid struggle – has been in hospital in Pretoria since 8 June with a lung infection.
Mr Zuma cancelled a visit to Mozambique to visit Mr Mandela in hospital.
Meanwhile Mr Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe said he was “still there” and responding to touch.
- 1918 Born in the Eastern Cape
- 1944 Joins African National Congress
- 1956 Charged with high treason, but charges dropped
- 1962 Arrested, convicted of sabotage, sentenced to five years in prison
- 1964 Charged again, sentenced to life
- 1990 Freed from prison
- 1993 Wins Nobel Peace Prize
- 1994 Elected first black president
- 1999 Steps down as leader