JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The doctors treating former South African leader Nelson Mandela believe he should remain in Johannesburg for now to be close to medical facilities that can provide care to the 94-year-old, the government said Thursday.
Mandela left a hospital Wednesday evening after nearly three weeks of treatment there, and was brought to his home in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Houghton. The anti-apartheid icon, also known by his clan name, Madiba, has spent more time in recent years in the rural village of Qunu in Eastern Cape province, where he grew up.
Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, said he hopes “it won’t be too long before he’s with us back in Qunu, where he belongs,” but acknowledged that the doctors’ assessment is critical to any decision to travel.
“It can be a strenuous trip,” the grandson said in an interview with eNCA, a South African television news channel. “We will await the feedback from the doctors as to when he will be fit and ready to come back home.”
Mandela was admitted Dec. 8 to a hospital in the South African capital of Pretoria, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Johannesburg. The ex-president was treated for a lung infection and also had a procedure to remove gallstones.
“Where Madiba goes, in which period, in which times, is a matter that is entirely dependent on his own wishes. Whatever he wishes, we will do,” presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told eNCA.
“But right now, the doctors have considered it necessary and good that he should be in Houghton so that he’s close to all the facilities where we can give him high care,” Maharaj said.
Maharaj noted that Mandela had been in good spirits while receiving President Jacob Zuma and other visitors while he was hospitalized.
“Madiba was doing well, but as you know, when you’re recovering there are ups and downs, slight ups and downs, and the doctors are looking for a steady progress and that began to be registered over the last few days,” the spokesman said.
Mandela is revered around the world as a symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation, his legacy forged in the fight against apartheid, the system of white minority rule that imprisoned him for 27 years. The Nobel laureate served one five-year term as president after South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.
Maharaj said Mandela is able to see his family “more easily” now that he is at home, but he appealed to the public to respect the former president’s privacy “to allow the best possible conditions for his full recovery.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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