Mandela discharged from hospital


Former South African President Nelson Mandela is taken on a stretcher from the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg (AP)

Former South African leader Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital, the country’s surgeon general said.

V J Ramlakan said there was no need to panic about the health of Mr Mandela, 92, who spent two days in a Johannesburg hospital undergoing specialised tests.

He said Mr Mandela had been treated for an acute respiratory infection, responded well to treatment and had been discharged to receive home-based care.

Mr Mandela has a history of respiratory problems after contracting tuberculosis during his 27 years in prison and undergoes regular hospital check-ups, but his latest visit to Milpark Hospital had stretched into an unusually long stay.

Mr Ramlakan said: “Dr Mandela is in high spirits and has been visited by his family and friends. Medically, at present, there is no need to panic.”

Mr Mandela had been admitted to Milpark Hospital on Wednesday, and there was speculation about his condition. Journalists have been camped outside the hospital and outside his Johannesburg home.

“He is receiving the best treatment from the best available health professionals in this country, and that should reassure all of us that there is no need of us to panic,” deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe told a news conference.

Mr Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and stepped down after serving one term in 1999, largely retiring from public life in 2004.

The public has seen only glimpses of him recently, the last time being in November when his office released photos of a private meeting with members of the US and South African football teams.

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