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Nelson Mandela responding to medical treatment, sources say

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Nelson Mandela has responded to treatment, leaving relatives optimistic and relaxed about his steady progress, two family sources said Wednesday. 

The democracy icon's family members were hopeful that Mandela would return home soon, the sources told NBC News.

South Africa's 94-year-old ex-president was rushed to the hospital with a lung infection Saturday. 

Current president, Jacob Zuma, described Mandela’s condition as “very serious but stabilized” on Tuesday, and said that “all are praying” for the anti-apartheid leader’s recovery.

Zuma said he had met with Mandela's medical team. In a statement, Zuma’s office said the president was "satisfied that they are doing their best" to make Mandela better.

“We certainly join everyone to say he should recover quickly,” Zuma added. “And I'm sure, knowing him as I do, he is a good fighter. He will be with us very soon."

Family members have been flocking to Mandela's side at a Pretoria hospital while hundreds journalists from around the world wait outside to hear news of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's condition.

Mandela spent 27 years as a political prisoner in South Africa, during which time tuberculosis weakened his lungs.

After he was released in 1990, he took his fight for racial equality right to the presidency, toppling the minority white leadership and becoming the country's first black president.