Nelson Mandela Discharged From Hospital

Emma Hurd, Sky News Correspondent

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has “not yet fully recovered” despite being discharged from hospital and will continue to receive medical care at home, a spokesman said.

The 94-year-old was released from hospital on Boxing Day after 18 days of treatment for a lung infection and gallstones.

President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman, Mac Maharaj, said Mr Mandela had had “ups and downs” in hospital but his doctors had decided to discharge him after observing “steady progress” over the past few days.

The anti-apartheid leader has extensive medical facilities at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, and his own medical team will remain with him.

Mr Maharaj said “pulmonary care” would be part of the “home based high care”.

Mr Mandela has had recurring lung problems since contracting tuberculosis during his 27 years in prison under the apartheid regime.

The Nobel Peace Laureate had been due to spend Christmas with his family at his ancestral home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

But on December 8 he was flown to a hospital in Pretoria renewing fears over his health.

The South African government has been criticised for failing to provide sufficient updates on his condition to a worried public.

Mr Mandela - usually affectionately referred to by his clan name “Madiba” - is still revered as the founder of the “rainbow nation”. He retired from public life several years ago and his known to be increasingly frail.

This was his longest stay in hospital he was released from prison in 1990.

On Christmas Day, President Zuma visited his bedside and declared him to be in “high spirits”.

Announcing his discharge from hospital, Mr Maharaj said Mr Mandela now needed privacy as he continues his recovery at home, where he is surrounded by members of his family, including his wife Graca Machel.