Jailed black leader Nelson Mandela, recuperating from tuberculosis, met Thursday with the justice minister after being transferred from a state hospital to a large private clinic.

Kobie Coetzee said Mandela's health "appears to have improved considerably" and described conditions at the clinic as excellent. The minister did not elaborate on his meeting with the 70-year-old prisoner, whose release has been the focus of repeated international campaigns.Mandela's lawyer, Ismail Ayob, said he had expected the transfer and did not view it as an indication the government has decided whether it would free the African National Congress leader after his recovery.

Ayob said neither he nor Mandela's wife, Winnie, was told in advance of the move from Cape Town's Tygerberg Hospital to the Constantiaberg Clinic.

Mandela was transferred on Aug. 12 from Pollsmoor Prison to Tygerberg, where doctors say he made a good recovery following the drainage of fluid from his lungs.