Mandela’s recovery ‘on track’ at home

Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s recovery is “on track” at his home in Johannesburg, the South African government has said in its first statement since the anti-apartheid hero was released from hospital a week ago.

Report by Reuters

Mandela (94), who has been in frail health for several years, spent nearly three weeks in a Pretoria hospital in December for treatment of a lung infection and surgery to remove gallstones, his longest stay for medical care since his release from prison in 1990.

“Madiba’s recovery continues on track,” presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said referring to Mandela by his clan name.

He has been receiving “home-based high care” at his residence in an upscale Johannesburg neighbourhood.

Mandela became South Africa’s first black president after the first all-race elections in 1994, serving a five-year term.

He has been mostly absent from the political scene for the past several years due to poor health, while questions have been raised as to whether his ruling African National Congress (ANC) has lost the moral compass he left behind.

Under such leaders as Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo, the ANC gained a stellar global reputation. Once the yoke of apartheid was thrown off, it began ruling South Africa in a blaze of goodwill from world leaders who viewed it as a beacon for a troubled continent and world.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mandela has a history of lung problems dating back to when he contracted tuberculosis as a political prisoner. He spent 27 years in prison, including 18 years on the windswept Robben Island off Cape Town.

He was also admitted to hospital in February because of abdominal pain, but released the following day after a keyhole examination showed there was nothing seriously wrong with him. He has spent most of his time since then in another home in Qunu, his ancestral village in the impoverished Eastern Cape province.

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