Former president Nelson Mandela

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma visited former president Nelson Mandela at his Houghton home in Johannesburg on Monday, the presidency said.

“The health of the former president remains much the same as it was when President Zuma last visited him, which is stable but critical, while Madiba continues to respond to treatment,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

“President Zuma conveyed the well wishes of all South Africans and those of the peoples of the world to the Mandela family and assured them that nations are united in their thoughts and prayers for him.”

Zuma expressed the good wishes of the leaders of the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting to Mandela, said Maharaj.

He presented Mandela with the Lifetime Award for Global Peace from the Mahathir Global Peace Foundation, which he received on Mandela's behalf in Malaysia.

“President Zuma also informed Madiba that he was looking forward to officially opening the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory Public Facility and the Permanent Exhibition on the Life and Times of Nelson Mandela in Houghton later tonight.”

Earlier this year, Mandela spent almost three months in hospital for a recurring lung infection before being discharged on September 1 to continue treatment at home.

On Sunday, it was reported that Mandela remained “quite ill” as he convalesced at home.

“The bedroom there [in Houghton] is like an ICU ward. He remains quite ill,” his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told the Sunday Independent.

Madikizela-Mandela said Mandela could no longer speak because of tubes in his mouth to clear fluid off his lungs.

“Though the pneumonia has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive, hence the tubes.”

She denied Mandela was on life support. - Sapa