Nelson Mandela 'breathing on his own'

2011-01-28 15:30

Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela returned to his home in Houghton on Friday for home-based care of a respiratory infection.

The doors of a green and yellow-striped military ambulance were opened and the blue sirens on nine metro police motorbikes and six police vehicles lit up within minutes of the announcement that Mandela had been discharged.

He had spent two-and-a-half days in the hospital with what was finally confirmed as a respiratory infection, considered common for a man of 92 with his medical history, by Surgeon General Lieutenant General Vejaynand Ramlakan.

His admission had brought an outpouring of good wishes for a speedy recovery, and criticism over an information black-out on his condition.

'No need to fear'

In a briefing on his condition at the hospital, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said: "Madiba is well... and that should reassure all of us that there is no need for us to panic, there is no need for us to fear for Madiba's health."

Earlier, Ramlakan told the briefing that Mandela had received treatment and had responded very well.

"He is stable, but will be monitored closely."

He would receive no assistance with ventilation and would breathe on his own, he added.

"He is stable, but subject to intense monitoring. For a 92-year-old, he surprises us on a daily basis."

The convoy which led him from the hospital included the department of defence and military veterans, which is responsible for the well-being of former presidents, and bodyguards.

It passed staff, who came out of the hospital to watch his departure, and school children singing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and holding a poster with the words "take a short walk to health Madiba".

Other vehicles were thought to be ferrying family members.

Cordoned off

Cameramen rushed forward to try and photograph Mandela through the windows of the ambulance, but they were covered.

At Mandela's home in Houghton, metro police put up a cordon to keep the media three houses away.

As news of his homecoming spread, domestic workers and gardeners gathered outside in their overalls and pinafores.

Police were allowing residents free access to the road and a police helicopter made a few swoops over the area.

The military ambulance left shortly after its arrival with an ambulance from private service Netcare 911.

Back at Milpark, the scene of night vigils by the media, operations returned to normal.

The silence at the medical facility was broken by the sounds of laughter and idle chatter after the dignitaries left.

The tape controlling entry to the building was removed and security guards at the main gate, who had been searching vehicles, started allowing people to freely enter again.

  • Melly30 - 2011-01-28 15:39

    Rest Madiba, now lets leave him alone!!

  • lourence.manyama - 2011-01-28 15:41

    Why was the tape removed from the contolling arear. And why will he still be using the ventilation systemt for breathing spport. Dont feel right about this.

      CMTHA - 2011-01-28 15:49

      go to your teacher and ask for the change because u simply cannot understand english. sorry

      Roro - 2011-01-28 15:53

      Who said he will still be using ventilation system, maybe i missed that one.

      DeonL - 2011-01-28 15:58

      He is breathing on his own, no ventilation needed.

      Mizer - 2011-01-28 16:34

      O bokete sies...

      Abuti - 2011-01-28 18:09

      read the story again without rushing to finish it, "he would receive no assistance with ventilation and would breath on his own"

  • patrice - 2011-01-28 15:48

    what a relief - no more po faced news presenters on TV this weekend

  • DeonL - 2011-01-28 15:56

    Oops, He is not well as before mentioned but probably better! Pneumonia in old people are known to kill, hope it was / is not that.

      Steven - 2011-01-28 16:08


  • Mag35215 - 2011-01-28 16:00

    Get better soon Madiba!

  • - 2011-01-28 16:01

    I am an atheist but for Mr Mandela I pray!

  • lany - 2011-01-28 16:04

    I'm happy for you Tata Madiba

  • Samia - 2011-01-28 16:06

    Who says that is Madiba, why does he have that blue cap on that the doctors use. If it is , get well Madiba

  • abc101 - 2011-01-28 16:16

    I think anyone who works in government or has worked in government needs to go to public hospitals for treatment and be seen by AA Doctors then sent home via our public transport system, preferably metrorail.

      logical007 - 2011-01-28 17:19

      Then why bother going to the hospital - you will die either in the government hospital but if you make that you will definately die on the way home - by metrorail crashing into goods train or your ride home in a taxi !!!!

  • nicole.trigg1 - 2011-01-28 16:17

    As much as I understand the families right to privacy, Madiba crept into our hearts many years ago (and has remained there), thus we have a genuine interest in his well being. I trust Madiba will recover, but fear the day the inevitable happens... Will the people continue to acknowledge him, his work, his rational way of thinking? Or will his life story simply become text book material for future generations to "learn" about?

      Heks - 2011-01-28 16:49

      don't worry nicole. your hero will go down in history regardless of what you, I or anybody else says

  • Khumisi Kganare - 2011-01-28 16:21

    May God give him the strength and energy he needs.

  • Mpumi - 2011-01-28 16:24

    Thank God,the father of the Nation is well. I Love u Tata Madiba!!!

  • Mpumi - 2011-01-28 16:26

    I love u Baba Madiba, long live Tata long live!!

  • Xolisa-Bantu - 2011-01-28 16:35

    I am more than happy for you Xhegolam God will still give you many more days to live as an icon of the World. Thanks God!!!

  • agas - 2011-01-28 16:41

    Long Live Madiba, Long Live !! We love You and respect u always !

  • Marizani - 2011-01-28 16:49

    praise GOD allelluah!

  • Monica - 2011-01-28 17:10

    It is just sad that they have not from the start said that he is okay. Winnie with her tears did not make it easier either for the media. They invited the media by not being honest!

  • logical007 - 2011-01-28 17:25

    I don't believe a word that the government says ever. When last has anyone in the government said anything resembling the truth?? Why would they start now?? Madiba is 92. The man is great, But face it, he is only human and will die some time. when its your time to die you will die. Sad as it may be for some. But rather that than suffering with respiratory problems????? Go in peace when you must and your time is right! Madiba!

  • Xonhi - 2011-01-28 17:34

    long live madiba long live the whole world love you. thank GOD for being there for u.

  • Mabhelandile - 2011-01-28 18:25

    ungavumi xhego atleast make 100yrs then uydedele

  • Mabhelandile - 2011-01-28 18:27

    ungavumi xhego atleast make 100yrz, then uydedelae

  • Olalekan - 2011-01-28 21:02

    i hope dis will not be like dat of former nigeria yardua

  • suscol - 2011-01-28 22:33

    the most opportunistic headline i've ever seen: editor - you should be ashamed of yourself. there was NEVER any mention of assisted breathing by the physicians. only a reporter who when asking what home-based care meant, suggested herself that could mean perhaps breathing apparatus etc? heard the news conference live on the radio, and am absolutely clear that this is a total distortion of what the surgeon general said. his response was that 'home based care' meant the normal nursing care that he would have received in hospital and that no extra equipment would be required. i can remember that clearly from 10 hours ago, and yet 20 minutes after it was said, your reporter posts the article above. you have zero credibility in my mind now..... won't come here for breaking news if i want the truth. tabloid stuff guys - tighten up.

  • yvette.bellingan - 2011-01-28 23:37

    Get Well soon dearest Madiba!

  • Olavin - 2011-01-29 02:01

    Didn't we just have the media say two days ago that Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for "routine tests"? Now he's breathing on his own? That's quite a step. Get well Madiba. Our thoughts are with you.

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