Mandela finally discharged from hospital

Mandela spent Christmas in his hospital bed and was discharged late on Wednesday night.

"He will undergo home-based high care at his Houghton home until he recovers fully," said spokesperson Mac Maharaj in a statement on Wednesday.

"We thank the public and the media for the good wishes and for affording Madiba and the family the necessary privacy. We request a continuation of the privacy consideration in order to allow for the best possible conditions for full recovery."

Mandela (94) spent Christmas Day in hospital, having been flown to Pretoria from his Eastern Cape home at Qunu on December 8.

He was diagnosed with a lung infection, and also underwent gallstone surgery.

His current stay in hospital is his longest since he was freed from imprisonment over two decades ago.

Mandela has a history of lung problems after having suffered from tuberculosis towards the end of the 27 years he spent in prison.

President Jacob Zuma said in a statement on Tuesday that Mandela was "looking much better" and was in high spirits.

Zuma had visited the former statesman, joining Mandela's wife, Graca Machel and other family members in presenting Christmas wishes to Mandela at his hospital bedside in Pretoria. – Sapa

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