The wife of ailing civil rights icon Nelson Mandela has thanked fans for their support and well wishes as the former South African leader continues to recover from a recurring lung infection.

The 94 year old, who has been in and out of hospital in recent months, has been under doctors' care at a medical centre in Pretoria since 8 June (13), when he was admitted for treatment.

President Jacob Zuma recently revealed his condition was "serious but stable", and although Mandela remains hospitalised, his wife, Graca MAChel, insists he is making a good recovery, telling reporters: "He is doing very well."

She has also expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support and concern for Mandela's health from around the world, admitting the kind messages have helped to "lighten the burden of anxiety, bringing us love, comfort and hope".

In a statement, she adds, "The messages have come by letter, by Sms (text message), by phone, by Twitter, by Facebook, by email, cards, flowers and the human voice, in particular the voices of children in schools or singing outside our home. We have felt the closeness of the world and the deepest meaning of strength and peace."

Mandela was hospitalised earlier this year (Mar13) to receive treatment for a recurring bout of pneumonia and underwent a surgical procedure to drain fluid from his lungs.

The human rights legend previously spent nearly three weeks under doctors' care in December (12) as he battled the lung condition, and he also underwent an operation to remove gallstones.