Mandela discharge from hospital

By Drum Digital
07 April 2013

Former president Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital after spending nine days recovering from pneumonia, the Presidency said on Saturday.

"Former president Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital today, April 6, following a sustained and gradual improvement in his general condition," spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

"The former President will now receive home-based high care."

Maharaj said President Jacob Zuma was grateful to hospital staff for taking good care of Madiba.

"President Zuma thanks the hard working medical team and hospital staff for looking after Madiba so efficiently," said Maharaj.

Zuma also extended his gratitude to all South Africans and people around the world for their support, he said.

Mandela was admitted to hospital on March 27.

Since then the 94-year-old former statesman has had fluid drained from his lungs to ease his breathing.

African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu was happy to hear the news on Saturday.

"We join President Jacob Zuma in thanking the hospital and medical staff for good care they provided to President Mandela," he said in a statement.

"We also thank all South Africans, various organisations and the world community for their prayers and support."

Mthembu said he acknowledged the important role played by Zuma and his office in keeping the nation and the world informed about Mandela's progress and treatment on a regualr basis.

"Let us continue to keep President Mandela and his family in our prayers as he continues to receive treatment from home."

Mandela has fought back from lung ailments before.

Early in March, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was admitted to a Pretoria hospital for a scheduled check-up. He was discharged the following day.

In December last year, Mandela underwent an operation to remove gallstones and to treat the recurring lung infection. He was discharged after an 18-day stay and placed under home-based high care at his Houghton, Johannesburg, residence.

In January, the presidency said Mandela had made a full recovery from the surgery and continued to improve.

In February last year, he was admitted to hospital for a stomach ailment.

At the time, the presidency said Mandela underwent a diagnostic procedure to investigate the cause of a long-standing abdominal complaint.

In January 2011, Mandela was taken to Milpark Hospital for routine tests relating to respiratory problems.

Mandela's last major public appearance was in July 2010, at the final of the Fifa World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.

Since then he had spent his time between Johannesburg and his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

According to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1988, after he had been transferred out of Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison.

-by Sapa

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