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Originally published Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 4:06 AM

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Mandela honored by South Africa's president

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has honored anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, whose hospital stay has stretched into its ninth day.

The Associated Press

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JOHANNESBURG —

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has honored anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, whose hospital stay has stretched into its ninth day.

Zuma spoke Sunday at the African National Congress political party's Mangaung conference, being held in the city also known as Bloemfontein.

Zuma said Mandela "is receiving good care from a competent and caring medical team." Zuma also led convention goers in a song about Mandela.

Government officials said the 94-year-old Mandela underwent a successful surgery for gallstones on Saturday. Officials say Mandela has been hospitalized since Dec. 8 for tests and later medical treatment for a recurrent lung infection.

Mandela is revered for being a leader of the struggle against racist white rule in South Africa. He served one five-year term as president before retiring from public life.

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