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Mandela returns home from hospital

By Agencies in Johannesburg, South Africa | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-02 07:40

Mandela returns home from hospital

South Africa anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was discharged on Sunday from a hospital where he has been treated since June 8 for a recurring respiratory illness, the president's office said.

Despite his release, questions remain about the health of the 95-year-old Nobel laureate, who has been in and out of the hospital for a year and who, the presidency said, remains in "critical" condition.

"Former president Nelson Mandela has this morning, Sept 1, 2013, been discharged from the Pretoria hospital where he has been receiving treatment," said a statement from the presidency.

It is said his condition "remains critical and is at times unstable".

An ambulance with police escort was seen arriving at his suburban home, north of Johannesburg, shortly after 9 am.

Officials said Mandela will receive the same intensive care from his Johannesburg home.

"If there are health conditions that warrant another admission to a hospital in the future, this will be done," the presidency said.

President Jacob Zuma's office said the elderly statesman has been treated by "a large medical team from the military, academia, private sector and other public health spheres".

His release came after the presidency on Saturday denied reports that Mandela had been discharged from the hospital.

"Madiba is still in a hospital in Pretoria and remains in critical but stable condition," Zuma's spokesman said in a statement, denying reports from several news organizations that he had left the facility.

"At times his condition becomes unstable, but he responds to medical interventions."

Since his admission, South Africans have been united in prayer for a speedy recovery of the country's first black president.

Global leaders and local politicians have also been sending him messages of support during his lengthy treatment at a Pretoria hospital.

Mandela has faced several health scares in recent years, and his lung problems date back to his 27 years in jail during apartheid rule.

Madiba, his clan name by which he is known in the country, has been in and out of a hospital since last year, with lung-related complications.

"Despite the difficulties imposed by his various illnesses, he, as always, displays immense grace and fortitude," according to Zuma's office.

In December, Mandela spent nearly three weeks in a hospital being treated for a lung infection and gallstones.

His latest hospitalization has been his longest since he walked free from jail in 1990 and went on to become the country's first leader to be elected in all-race elections.

Speculation has arisen often as few details have been released about his condition, which has been largely described as "critical but stable", and updates on his health have been infrequent.

In June, the revered leader was said to be on life support but has recently been reported to be breathing on his own.

Family members, including his wife, Graca Machel, and ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, have been visiting his bedside since his admission.


(China Daily 09/02/2013 page11)

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