Johannesburg - Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni wished his old friend and fellow anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela a steady recovery from his lung infection on Wednesday.

Starting his message with clan praises, Mlangeni said: “Madiba, Ngqolomsila, Yem-yem, Sophitshosonke sihlangene sithi kuwe (we are all together, we are all going to say to you, use the survival skills you’ve learned during the hardest times in our long walk to freedom to keep you strong, not only for yourself, but for the nation at large).”

Mlangeni had been following news of Mandela's treatment, and expressed relief that doctors had been able to find the source of his discomfort early enough to provide timely, effective treatment.

Mandela was admitted to hospital in Pretoria on Saturday, and on Tuesday the presidency said he was being treated for a lung infection.

Mlangeni was among those who, like Mandela, were tried and eventually sentenced between 1963 and 1964 in the Rivonia Trial to life in prison on Robben Island, for being part of a campaign to overthrow the South African government of the time.

The statement was issued on behalf of the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation, which does charity work, such as distributing blankets to the needy.

Meanwhile, reporters kept up their vigil on Wednesday at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria, where Mandela is being treated. - Sapa