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Mandela discharged from hospital

Mandy Rossouw

Former South African president Nelson Mandela was discharged on Friday and will be be cared for at his home in Houghton.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela was discharged on Friday and will be be cared for at his home in Houghton.

At a press conference at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, Acting President Kgalema Motlanthe told reporters that he had seen Madiba teasing his wife Graça and his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, as well as a sister in the ward earlier on Friday, proving that he was in high spirits.

Motlanthe ended days of feverish speculation about Madiba’s health, and admitted with hindsight the communication concerning the former president’s health could have been handled better.

Motlanthe—standing in for President Jacob Zuma who was in Davos for the World Economic Forum—was flanked by surgeon general Vejay Ramlakan, Madiba’s grandson Mandla Mandela as well as the head of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Achmat Dangor, who did not say a word.

Motlanthe said that in future all communication about Madiba would be handled by the Presidency. The department of Defence and Military Veterans—which is ultimately responsible for Madiba’s healthcare—would supply the Presidency with information.

Ramlakan confirmed that Madiba had been suffering from a respiratory infection, which could stem from his days on Robben Island where he suffered from TB.

At this stage the medical panel was satisfied with his recovery and Mandela will be discharged to receive home-based care.

Ramlakan said regular bulletins with updates on Madiba’s health would be made available to curb unnecessary speculation and rumour-mongering.

Mandla Mandela thanked South Africans for their support and prayers, while Motlanthe thanked the media for bringing the concerns of South Africans to the government’s attention.

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