NELSON Mandela was discharged from a hospital on Friday afternoon after undergoing “a few specialised investigations”, his doctor said.
The former South African President, 92, spent two-and-half days at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. He left the facility in an ambulance just after 12PM [GMT] to begin home-based care.
Earlier, Vice President Kgalema Motlanthe addressed the nation. "Madiba is well," Motlanthe said. "He is receiving the best treatment from top doctors.
"There is no need for us to panic. There is no reason for us to fear for Madiba's health.”
His doctor, VJ Ramlakaan, surgeon general of the South African National Defence Forces, told reporters the anti-apartheid icon had undergone “routine tests”.
Dr Ramlakaan said: “Given the medical history of our former President, his health over the last few years and his age, these tests are necessary in order to provide optimal health care to him.
“These tests are a normal part of his medical regime. Such tests are considered routine for a patient of his profile.”
All former and serving South African Presidents are under the primary care of military doctors.
Dr Ramlakaan added: “Whilst the SA military health service provides a medical help service to former presidents, this is done in consultation with specialists in the public and private sector.”
He said “medically, at present, there is no need to panic” about Mandela’s health, speculation over which had dominated the headlines around the world.
“Mandela suffers from diseases common to people of his age. He recently developed an acute respiratory infection, to which he has received treatment and had responded very well,” said Dr Ramlakaan.
“He is stable and will be monitored closely. His amazing positive attitude allows him to cope with the greatest of graces.”
While in hospital, Mandela received visits from his family. His wife Graca Machel has been on his side, and his ex-wife Winnie Mandela visited on Thursday.