A spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma said former President Nelson Mandela will begin to get home-based medical care following his release Wednesday from a Pretoria hospital, where he has been since December 8.
The 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader underwent treatment for a lung infection and had surgery to remove gallstones.
President Zuma’s spokesman, Mac Maharaj, said Mandela’s discharge has brought immense relief to South Africans and well-wishers around the world.
“This [Wednesday] evening, South African time, former President Mandela was discharged from the hospital. He will now undergo home-based high care at his home in Johannesburg until he recovers fully,” he said.
Maharaj thanked the media and the public on behalf of the government and people of South Africa for their good wishes.
“As you know, Madiba [Nelson Mandela] is adored by millions and millions of people throughout the world, and everybody has been praying for him, kept him in their thoughts and willed him to get better. So, his discharge from hospital is a milestone in his recovery,” Maharaj said.
Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison for his opposition to apartheid.
Maharaj said Mandela has grown frail, but remains in “good spirits.”
“As you know, he has had several ailments. In particular, he has not been able to walk easily. And, at his age, doctors have been very careful in dealing with his lung infection to make sure that it does not develop into [a] condition that is more serious. But, he’s looking well. Our president [Jacob Zuma] visited him yesterday [Tuesday] to wish him well for Christmas Day. He reported that Madiba was in high spirits,” Maharaj said.