Some residents in Mandela’s hometown of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape province, said Mandela should return to their rural area, where he had lived in recent years until ill health compelled authorities to fly him to Johannesburg so he could be near the best available medical care.
Mama Madlomo, an 84-year-old relative of the Mandela clan, said the former president should go back to Qunu so that he can be close to his ancestors. Mandela’s three deceased children, who are buried there, were the subject of a recent family feud over the location of their graves.
Another resident in Qunu, Nosithile Sodlongwane, was happy that Mandela had been discharged from the hospital.
“God has answered our prayers and we need him even if it’s for a short while,” she said.
Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is viewed around the world as a powerful figure of reconciliation. Despite being jailed for his prominent role in opposing white racist rule, Mandela was seemingly free of rancor on his release in 1990 after 27 years in prison.
He became a unifying leader who led South Africa through a delicate transition to all-race elections that propelled him to the presidency in 1994.