Mandela breathing on his own: Spokesman for S. Africa's presidency

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Mr Nelson Mandela is able to breathe by himself after being admitted to hospital for a recurrent respiratory infection, and that is a positive sign, a spokesman for South Africa's presidency said on Saturday.

The 94-year-old former South African president and anti-apartheid hero was admitted to hospital early on Saturday after battling the infection for a few days.

"What I am told by doctors is that he is breathing on his own, and I think that is a positive sign," presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

"Madiba is a fighter and at his age, as long as he is fighting, he will be fine," Mr Maharaj said, referring to Mr Mandela by his clan name.