Nelson Mandela is discharged from hospital in South Africa, where he was having tests. The admission of the frail 92-year old statesman had sparked widespread fears for his health.
The former President was admitted to hospital in Johannesburg earlier this week, but his medical staff and the Government of South Africa today reassured the world that he was “well” and said: “There is no need for us to panic.”
The Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, told a press conference today: “Madiba [Nelson Mandela’s clan name in South Africa] is well…He is receiving the best treatment from the best available health professionals 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.
We should remain calm and continue with our prayers that Madiba should be with us to celebrate his 93rd birthday in July, and beyond. Deputy South African President, Kgalema Motlanthe
“We should remain calm and continue with our prayers that Madiba should be with us to celebrate his 93rd birthday in July, and beyond.”
Mr Motlanthe is acting President while President Jacob Zuma attends the World Economic Forum in Davos and an African Union summit.
The Surgeon General of South Africa, Vejayand Ramlakan said: “At present Dr Mandela is in high spirits and has been visited by his family and friends. Medically at present there is no need to panic. Dr Mandela suffers from diseases common to people of his age as well as conditions that have developed over the years for which he receives chronic medication.
“He recently developed an acute respiratory infection for which he received treatment and has responded well. He is stable but will be monitored closely…Despite all of this, his amazing positive attitude allows him to cope with the difficulties of old age with the greatest of graces.
“At this stage, the medical team is satisfied with his recovery and he will be discharged to receive home-based care at his home.”
For a 92-year old he surprises us on a daily basis with his powers of recovery. Surgeon General Vejayand Ramlakan
He added: “We are at the end of the day talking about someone who is 92. When you’re 92, the routine is very different to when you’re 19. Because you’ve had certain ailments over his entire career we do certain tests.
“For a 92-year old he surprises us on a daily basis with his powers of recovery.”
Mr Mandela’s family thanked the world for their kind wishes and said he retained his sense of humour despite his ill-health.
Mr Mandela has not been seen in public since the World Cup final in Johannesburg in summer 2010. He retired from public life in June 2004 before his 86th birthday, telling his countrymen: “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”
The anti-apartheid hero had appeared increasingly frail when he was seen, such as at ANC rallies ahead of the general elections in 2009.
South African Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu said he had met Mr Mandela last week. He said: “He was all right, I mean, he’s 92, you know. And he’s frail.”
Mr Mandela is one of the world’s most revered statesmen and a South African hero. Jailed in 1964 for his anti-apartheid campaigning, he was finally released after 27 years, in 1990. Three years after that, in 1993, he became South Africa’s first black President after the country’s first democratic elections.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and since his time as President has played a leading role seeking peace in other areas of conflict and trying to tackle some of his country’s biggest problems, such as Aids.