Johannesburg, April 6: Former South African president Nelson Mandela was discharged on Saturday from a hospital where he had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia, South Africa's presidency announced.
According to the statement issued by the presidency, the iconic 94-year-old leader was released after his condition showed a sustained and gradual improvement. Official sources said that doctors had drained excess fluid from Mandela's lungs and that he was breathing easy. Mandela will be kept under care at home in Houghton now.
South African President Jacob Zuma thanked the doctors and hospital staff for taking extra care of Mandela, who has not been keeping well in recent times. He also expressed gratitude to his countrymen and the country's friends abroad.
Mandela, who had spent 27 years in prison during his struggle against apartheid in the country, had contracted tuberculosis as a political prisoner. He has a history of lung problems since then.
Mandela's latest stay at the hospital began on March 27 and Zuma urged people to pray for the statesman, raising concern for the former's health across the globe. US President Barack Obama, to, expressed his concern for the man's health.
Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 and remained in power for five years. He retired from active politics a decade ago.