Mandela still ‘critical’ but back home

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mandela back home AP An ambulance transporting former President Nelson Mandela arrives at his Houghton home. Photo: AP Photo / Denis Farrell

Johannesburg - Anti-apartheid leader and former President Nelson Mandela returned to his Johannesburg home on Sunday 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,” the Presidency said in a statement.

His latest hospitalisation 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. Police blocked off a section of the street in the upscale neighbourhood, where a crowd of reporters and camera crews had gathered.

“The health care personnel providing care at his home are the very same who provided care to him in hospital. If there are health conditions that warrant another admission to hospital in future, this will be done,” the presidency added.

The presidency requested that Mandela and his family be given “the necessary private space so that his continuing care can proceed with dignity and without unnecessary intrusion.”

"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."

"Despite the difficulties imposed by his various illnesses, he, as always, displays immense grace and fortitude," said Maharaj.

"We would like to wish him all the best as he continues his recovery at his Johannesburg home."

On Sunday, Maharaj said that "most media" had been "notably responsible".

"We thank them also for the maturity and understanding that all have in general displayed".

He said the public needed to give Mandela and his family "the necessary private space" to allow his care to continue. - Sapa and Reuters



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