Former South African president Nelson Mandela has been discharged from Medi-clinic Heart Hospital in the country’s capital, Pretoria, where he spent close to three months being treated for a recurring lung infection. However, his health is said to remain critical and at times unstable, and his doctors will keep providing him with intensive care at his Johannesburg home. Thuso Khumalo has more from Johannesburg.
A spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed that Mandela left the hospital Sunday morning. Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj says the anti-apartheid icon is now recovering at his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton. Mandela had been hospitalized since June 8.
Maharaj referred to Mandela using his clan name, Madiba.
We would like to wish him all the best as he continues his recovery at his Johannesburg home. Madiba's condition remains critical and is at times unstable," said Maharaj. "Nevertheless, his team of doctors are convinced that he will receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home that he received in Pretoria.
Maharaj went further to dispel fears that South Africa’s first black president will not receive adequate medical care at his home.
His home has been reconfigured to allow him to receive intensive care there," said Maharaj. "The health care personnel providing care at his home are the very same who provided care to him in hospital. If there are health conditions that warrant another admission to hospital in future, this will be done.
A well-wisher uses his phone to take a picture of a banner of photos of Nelson Mandela, outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, July 18, 2013.
Mandela’s release from the hospital came a day after a flurry of media reports that he had already been released, but the South African presidency Saturday dismissed the reports as false.
The hospital in Pretoria had become a "beehive" of activity, with dozens of people from all over the country visiting daily to wish him well.
This hospitalization was Mandela's fourth since December 2012. The 95-year-old first tested positive for tuberculosis in 1988 while he was still in prison for his role in fighting the apartheid regime.
He was released after spending 27 years in prison, and in 1994 was elected as South Africa’s first black president.
Mandela retired from public life in 1994.