Hundreds of African National Congress Youth League and Women's League supporters sang and danced, marching up and down Celliers Street, as the sun started to set over the country's capital.
The group of supporters, who were bussed in, were on their way to a prayer meeting not far from the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital.
"Nelson Mandela, haona ya tshwanang leyena 'there is no other like him' ," they sang.
Elizabeth Lipule, 77, an ANCWL member from Hammanskraal, said the louder she sang the more her prayers for Mandela would be heard.
"We came here to pray for him. We are hurting for our father. He has done a lot for us old people who can no longer work," she said.
"We pray that God gives him many years, we still need him."
One woman, Nontokozo Mahlangu, who came from Soshanguve said: "Madiba is a fighter. He should come back and be better for all of us."
People walking past the hospital, some with their dogs and others with children, stopped and watched the group. Some took photos on their cellphones.
Earlier, Mandela's granddaughter Ndileka Mandela kept up the stream of family visitors to the critically-ill former president.
Another grandchild, Mandla Mandela, left a little while earlier, his vehicle nosing through the swell of well-wishers arriving to drop off get-well cards, flowers, and balloons.
The presidency's announcement mid-afternoon that Mandela's condition had improved during the course of the night eased the tension brought on by no new information earlier.
According to the presidency's statement: "President Jacob Zuma visited former president Nelson Mandela in hospital in Pretoria today, June 27, and was informed by the medical team that Madiba's condition has improved during the course of the night.
"He remains critical, but is now stable," spokesman Mac Maharaj said.