Nelson Mandela out of the hospital, presidency says


Former South African president Nelson Mandela is pictured during a meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown (not pictured) at his hotel, in central London, on June 24, 2008.


Dylan Martinez

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is back home, released from a hospital in Pretoria on Sunday after three months of treatment for a lung infection.

But that doesn't mean the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon is out of the woods.

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Mandela's "condition remains critical and is at times unstable," according to a statement from the South African presidency, and he will continue receiving intensive care treatment at his suburban home in Johannesburg.

"His home has been reconfigured to allow him to receive intensive care there," the statement said. "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."

However, doctors clearly think Mandela is strong enough to survive outside of a hospital setting.

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And it's striking news after months of uncertainty and alarm over the health of South Africa's beloved leader. At several points, it appeared he was near death.

There was some confusion Saturday when two sources close to Mandela said he had returned home, only to be contradicted by the president's office, which stressed that he was still hospitalized.

The frail icon has not appeared in public for years, and was admitted to the hospital June 8 for the fourth time in the past two years.

His history of lung problems stems from his 27-year imprisonment on Robben Island. Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994, four years after his release from prison.