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'Today is a celebration'

Mandla Mandela is happy his grandfather has been discharged after spending nearly three months in hospital.

Media outside Nelson Mandela’s Houghton home on 1 September 2013. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Nelson Mandela's eldest grandson Mandla says today is a day for celebration following the news that his grandfather has been discharged from hospital.

Madiba left the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria this morning, where he had spent time receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection.

He is now recovering at his Houghton home where he will continue to receive high care under the observation of the same doctors.

Mandla said the world can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that all the prayers for Madiba have found favour with God.

He thanked the government and the African National Congress (ANC) for supporting his family during his grandfather's hospitalisation and said they are all delighted to have him back home.

Mandla also said Madiba's discharge flies in the face of those who claimed he was in a vegetative state and was only waiting for life machines to be switched off.

Those claims were made my Madiba's daughter Makaziwe during a court application to have the remains of his three children moved from Mvezo to Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

The rest of the Madiba clan has not yet commented on Mandela being discharged but are expected to issue a statement later.

MADIBA'S CONDITION STILL SERIOUS

The Presidency, in a statement, said Madiba's condition remains serious.

It's understood the former statesman's condition is sometimes unstable and the Presidency says they haven't ruled out the possibility that he may be readmitted.

The 95-year-old former president's home has been furnished with all the medical equipment used to treat him in hospital.

The Presidency has also called on members of the public to allow the former president and his family the necessary private space so that his continuing care can proceed with dignity and without unnecessary intrusion.

MEDIA WARNED

The streets surrounding Mandela's Houghton home are alive with activity following his return from hospital.

Dozens of media crews have set up their equipment.

The police stationed outside Madiba's home have warned journalists to keep their distance as more and more media agencies arrive.

Meanwhile, The Democratic Alliance (DA) has joined others in applauding Madbiba's medical team for their hard work on his recovery.

The party's Mmusi Maimane said, "The DA is delighted that Mandela has been discharged. His medical team has worked exceptionally hard. We congratulate and thank them for the work they're doing. We continue to keep Tata Madiba in our prayers."

The African National Congress (ANC)'s Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said, "We are particularly pleased with the report that he will continue to receive the same amount of care that he was afforded during his time in hospital."