Cape Town, July 2 (IANS) South Africans are ready to celebrate the 95th birthday of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who has been is hospital for more than three weeks for a recurring lung infection, President Jacob Zuma said.
In the latest official update on Mandela's condition, Zuma said the Nobel laureate "is still critical but stable" in a Pretoria hospital where he was admitted June 8, Xinhua reported.
"We remind all South Africans to begin planning for Madiba's birthday on the 18th of July. We must all be able to do something good for humanity on this day, in tribute to our former President," Zuma said.
The president thanked all South Africans for keeping Mandela and his family in their thoughts and prayers.
On Saturday, National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu said Mandela was making progress.
"We are pleased with the progress Madiba is making," he said after visiting Mandela.
"We love him dearly and don't want to let him go."
On the same day, Zuma said: "We hope very soon he (Mandela) will be out of hospital."
Mandela's birthday, July 18, was recognised in 2009 by the UN as Nelson Mandela International Day.
For the Fourth Mandela International Day, there will be official programmes to celebrate Mandela's birthday, but various organisations have worked out plans to celebrate the day with public gatherings, concerts and charity events.
Mandela gave call to the world June 27, 2008 that people can all make a difference by doing good in their communities.
Mandela Day serves as an annual call to action to people everywhere to contribute to the global movement for doing good by effecting change within their communities. During the day, people around the globe are urged to give 67 minutes of their time to make a change in their community and thus, the world.
more in Fwire