Nelson Mandela discharged from hospital - South Africa

April 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Former President Nelson Mandela was discharged from a hospital Saturday after an improvement in his health following treatment for pneumonia, South African officials said.

According to a statement from the office of President Jacob Zuma, Mandela's condition is seeing "a sustained and gradual improvement." The 94-year-old was admitted to a hospital March 27.

"The former president will now receive home-based high care," the statement said. Mandela had received similar treatment at his home in Johannesburg after a hospital stay in December.

While hospitalized, Mandela's doctors drained fluid from his lung area, making it easier for him to breathe.

This marked his third trip to a hospital since December, when he was treated for a lung infection and had a procedure to remove gallstones. Earlier in March, Mandela was hospitalized overnight for what authorities said was a successful scheduled medical test.

The Nobel laureate is a revered figure in South Africa, which has honored his legacy of reconciliation by naming buildings and other places after him and printing his image on national banknotes.

Under South Africa's white-minority apartheid regime, Mandela served 27 years in prison, where he contracted tuberculosis, before being released in 1990. He later became the nation's first democratically elected president in 1994 under the banner of the African National Congress, helping to negotiate a relatively peaceful end to apartheid despite fears of much greater bloodshed. He served one five-year term as president before retiring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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