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Nelson Mandela discharged from hospital, says presidency

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital, the presidency has said. The 95-year-old remains in a critical condition. He was admitted to hospital with a respiratory illness in June.

A girl gestures near a picture of ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela, outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (SOUTH AFRICA)

Mandela Krankenhaus Genesungswünsche 06.07.2013

South Africa's government released a statement on Sunday confirming that Mandela had returned home from hospital in the capital, Pretoria.

"Madiba's condition remains critical and is at times unstable," the presidency said, referring to the 95-year-old by his clan name.

"His team of doctors are convinced that he will receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home that he received in Pretoria," the statement said.

The news comes a day after several media sources wrongly reported he had been discharged on Saturday, later withdrawing their reports after the presidency denied the discharge had taken place.

The ailing anti-apartheid leader was rushed to hospital on June 8 for a respiratory infection and has largely remained in a critical condition since.

Mandela's chronic lung problems are thought to date back to his years in prison, where he contracted tuberculosis. He was released in 1990 after spending 27 years behind bars after being convicted of conspiring to overthrow South Africa's apartheid government.

Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994, having won the country's first fully multi-racial election. He served just one term in office, stepping down in 1999.

ccp/tj (Reuters, AFP)