'Madiba will return to hospital if necessary'

The former President was discharged from hospital on Sunday after nearly three months.

Nelson Mandela. Picture: Sapa

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency says if Nelson Mandela's condition warrants further treatment he will return to hospital.

The former president was discharged from the Mediclinic Heart Hospital after spending nearly three months at the facility in a critical condition for a recurring lung infection.

A statement issued by the Presidency followed media speculation on Saturday that the former President was going home.

The Presidency said the statesman will continue receiving treatment at his Houghton home.

His house has been reconfigured to accommodate the medical equipment used to treat him in hospital.

But despite being discharged, the Presidency said Madiba's condition still remains serious and unstable at times.

The public has been called on to allow Mandela and his family the necessary private space so that his continuing care can proceed with dignity and without unnecessary intrusion.

Meanwhile, traditional leaders are calling for him to be returned to his birthplace Qunu in the Eastern Cape saying that is where he should be treated.

'FAMILY ELATED'

Mandela's family are elated to have him home.

His grandaughter Ndileka says she'll be visiting him during the course of the day.

"He's recovering though still critical. We are just happy that he's at least now home we will be able to surround him with more love and care."

Mandela's eldest grandson Mandla said he's delighted his grandfather is back home.

Mandla said his grandfather's return home proves that claims by other family members that Madiba is in a vegetative state aren't true.

WELL WISHES

Struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada said, "The doctors and his family have jointly decided to send him home. We are all delighted and best wishes for the continued improvement in his health."

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory echoed Kathrada's sentiments and said it is pleased the statesman has been discharged from hospital and is home with his family.

The centre's Sello Hatang also encouraged the nation to continue Madiba's legacy.

"We should all be praying for Madiba until he fully recovers, but also continue to do our bit to bring change to our communities not just on Mandela Day, but everyday."

Political parties such as the ANC and United Democratic Movement (UDM) have also extended well wishes for Madiba and thanked the South African public for their continued support.