Friday, January 28, 2011

Nelson Mandela's release from hospital calms national alarm

South Africans breathed a collective sigh of relief today when Nelson Mandela was discharged from hospital after treatment for an acute respiratory infection.
Speculation about the frail 92-year-old's health went into overdrive as he spent a second night in hospital while official details of his condition appeared subject to a virtual blackout.
But Mandela returned home today and officials moved to assure the public he was "well" and in high spirits, even joking with his wife and nurses.
Kgalema Motlanthe, acting president of South Africa while Jacob Zuma is abroad, told a packed press conference that he had just visited Mandela, who was sitting up in bed.
"When I walked into the ward, his exact words were he was very happy to see me," said Motlanthe, adding that Mandela was making light of the situation with his wife, Graca Machel, and ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
"He's in good spirits and was joking with us and teasing Graca and Mama Winnie and the sisters. Even for me to come to the press conference he told me, 'Look, I won't detain you any longer.'"

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