South Africa’s Mandela back home after long hospital stay
JOHANNESBURG - Reuters
Members of the South African police stand guard near an ambulance which was escorting another that was believed to be carrying former South African President Nelson Mandela, outside his house in Houghton, Johannesburg September 1, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe SibekoAnti-apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela returned to his Johannesburg home Sept.1 where he will continue to receive intensive treatment and care after spending three months in hospital with a lung ailment.
Mandela, 95, had spent 87 days in a Pretoria hospital after he was rushed there in early June suffering from a recurring infection in the lungs, a legacy from his time in jail under apartheid, that has dogged him for years.
“Madiba’s condition remains critical and is at times unstable. Nevertheless, his team of doctors are convinced that he will receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home that he received in Pretoria,” South Africa’s presidency said in a statement. It referred to Mandela by the traditional clan name by which he is affectionately known.
His latest hospitalization in June had attracted a wave of attention and sympathy at home and across the world for the revered statesman, who is admired as a symbol of struggle against injustice and of racial reconciliation. The presidency said that during his three-month stay in hospital the condition of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate “vacillated between serious to critical and at times unstable.”
His home in Johannesburg’s Houghton suburb had been “reconfigured” to allow him to receive special care there, the presidency added. Mandela celebrated his 95th birthday in hospital on July 18, showered with tributes from around the world. Thousands of well-wishers had visited the Pretoria medical facility during his stay there to leave flowers, cards and gifts.