Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma wished former president Thabo Mbeki's mother Epainette a speedy recovery on Thursday after she was admitted to an Eastern Cape hospital.

“The struggle veteran and wife of the late struggle icon Mr Govan Mbeki, was admitted to the hospital after she complained about shortness of breath,” Zuma said.

“The prayers of the nation are with Mma Mbeki and the family at this time. On behalf of government and the people of South Africa, I wish her a speedy recovery.”

Her other son, Moeletsi Mbeki, thanked staff at the East London hospital treating her.

“Gratitude is further extended to the management, staff and doctors for the excellent care given to our mother and the high level of professionalism displayed,” Mbeki said in a statement.

He said she was admitted to hospital last week with a chest infection and a heart problem.

“Her condition has improved since admission, although she remains ill.”

Sapa