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Mandela Leaves Hospital

FORMER South African President, Nelson Mandela was yesterday discharged from the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mandela went home from the hospital after suffering an acute respiratory infection. He is now to continue treatment at home. According to an Associated Press (AP) report, the 92-year-old former president was joking with his wife and nurses, and handling the difficulties of old age “with the greatest of grace.”
Surgeon-General Vejaynand Ramlakan told reporters that the anti-apartheid icon would now receive care at home after about 48 hours in Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital.
“It comes to us this afternoon with great joy to hear that he’s been discharged,” grandson Mandla Mandela told reporters at a hospital news conference that included Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Soon afterward, a convoy of security vehicles and a military ambulance carrying Mandela left the hospital, reaching his nearby home in minutes. Neighbours were happy to have him back.
“Everyone was holding their hearts and saying not now,” said Patricia Ramaila, who has lived across the street from Mandela for four years. “A person like Mr. Mandela — we still need him.”
Another neighbour, Gillian Jacklin, said when Mandela first moved into the leafy neighborhood, the former president knocked on her door to introduce himself. “But he doesn’t go out very much anymore,” she asked.
“He’s become the father of South Africa — what happens when he goes and his message is no longer important?” she said.
Mandela, 92, was admitted recently, prompting fears for the anti-apartheid icon who led South Africa as its first black president and is revered at home and abroad as a symbol of reconciliation and hope.
“Madiba is well,” Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said, using Mandela’s clan name.
“He is fine. He’s O.K. He is in good spirits. He was joking with us,” said Motlanthe.
South Africa’s surgeon general told the same news conference Mandela was stable and was discharged after treatment for an acute respiratory infection.
“There is no need to panic or to try to see more in what we are saying. For a 92-year-old, he surprises us on a daily basis on his power of recovery,” Vejayanand Ramlakan said.
Mandela arrived at his home in Johannesburg’s leafy Houghton suburb in a military ambulance, escorted by several police vehicles, Reuters witnesses said. Ramlakan said Mandela would continue to get medical treatment at home, giving no further details of his illness. A source close to Mandela told Reuters on Thursday he was recovering from a collapsed lung.
Mandela was diagnosed with tuberculosis in the 1980s while he was jailed and later had an operation to repair damage to his eyes. In 2001, he had treatment for prostate cancer. He was released from prison in 1990 after 27 years imprisonment.
President Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress appealed for calm after the hospitalization set off speculation in local media about Mandela’s health and brought family members and dignitaries rushing to the hospital.
Motlanthe acknowledged that the government and other parties involved could have handled Mandela’s hospitalization better.
Nearly 24 hours passed from when the Nelson Mandela Foundation said the former president was in hospital for routine tests to the presidency issuing a statement on his health.
-Guardian

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