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Confirmed: Nelson Mandela leaves hospital and returns home

The 95-year-old legend’s condition has been described as ‘critical and, at times, unstable’.

A portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela with get well messages outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital.
A portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela with get well messages outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital.
Image: Themba Hadebe/AP/Press Association Images

FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN president Nelson Mandela has left hospital almost three months after being admitted with a recurring lung infection.

The 95-year-old has returned to his home in Johannesburg, the current president Jacob Zuma confirmed this morning.

Although his condition has been described as still critical – and, at times, unstable – his medical team believe he can receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home.

“His home has been reconfigured to allow him to receive intensive care there,” the office of the presidency said in a statement.

“The health care personnel providing care at his home are the very same who provided care to him in hospital. If there are health conditions that warrant another admission to hospital in future, this will be done.”

Zuma said that the anti-apartheid hero continues to display “immense grace and fortitude” despite the difficulties imposed by his various illnesses.

Reports yesterday that Madiba had returned home were denied by the office.

He was admitted on 8 June because of continuing lung problems. His condition has vacillated between critical, serious and unstable. The country has been told to prepare for his death, with Zuma warning that he cannot go on forever.

“We now call on all to allow the former President and his family the necessary private space so that his continuing care can proceed with dignity and without unnecessary intrusion,” he concluded in today’s update.

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