Madiba is alert, says grandchild

Former South African president Nelson Mandela as pictured in 2005. Picture: Sapa
JOHANNESBURG - Former South African President Nelson Mandela's family has appealed to the public to stop spreading unverified information about Madiba’s health, as he recovers at his Houghton home in the north of Johannesburg.

The 94-year-old statesman was discharged from a Pretoria hospital on Wednesday evening, and according to Presidency is receiving home-based high care treatment.

He was admitted to hospital for a recurring lung infection on 8 December, and also underwent surgery to remove gallstones last week.

Madiba’s grandchild, Zaziwe Manaway, on Friday told CNN that South Africa’s first democratic president was doing “very well”.

She says Mandela is aware of social media rumours claiming the elderly statesman is close to death.

“He is very alert. My grandfather still wakes up in the morning [and] reads the newspaper, so he is also aware of what is being said about him.

“So we’d really like to appeal to everybody out there to stop saying these rumours - they’re really not true.

"Our grandfather is great and he is doing very well.”

Madiba’s recent hospital stay was the longest time he had spent in a medical facility ever.

He has touched many lives through his humanitarian efforts over the years and also played a key role in negotiating freedom and equal opportunities for all South Africans.

He was honoured with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for those exact efforts.

Well wishes are continuing to pour in for Madiba, a man who is loved by ordinary world citizens and celebrities.