Mandela safely back home

2013-04-07 10:00

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Former president Nelson Mandela was discharged from hospital yesterday after he was admitted nine days ago with pneumonia and breathing difficulties.

He will now receive “home- based high care”, presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

Maharaj did not say whether this would be at his Houghton or Qunu home, but an SABC crew saw an ambulance pull into Mandela’s Houghton, Johannesburg, home yesterday. It is believed the home care facilities there are better.

Maharaj said there was a “sustained and gradual improvement in his general condition”, and President Jacob Zuma “thanked the hard- working medical team and hospital staff for looking after Madiba so efficiently”.

After Mandela was admitted, excess fluid build-up in the lining of his lungs was drained, which meant he could breathe unassisted.

His wife, Graça Machel, who was at his side in hospital for much of the time, told reporters on Thursday night Mandela was “always getting better and better. He is in hospital simply because the doctors want to be absolutely sure that he is strong enough to go home and nothing is going to recur,” she said.

It was his third stay in hospital since December, when he was admitted for 18 days for a lung infection and gallstone surgery.

He also spent a night in hospital last month for tests.

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