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Nelson Mandela making 'steady progress'

Former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela has made a full recovery from a lung infection which kept him in hospital for most of December. The 94-year-old is now receiving care at home.

The news came on Sunday from South Africa's Office of the Presidency, dispelling widespread concern over the state of Mandela's health. The aging peace figure spent almost four weeks in hospital - his longest stay yet - fighting a lung infection. While there, he also underwent a gallstone operation.

"President Mandela has made steady progress and clinically, he continues to improve," the Office of the Presidency said in a statement.

The 1993 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner had continued making steady progress since his December 26 release from hospital and had partially resumed his daily routine, the statement also said.

He is currently receiving medical care at his home outside of Johannesburg.

Mandela had contracted tuberculosis during his 27-year prison term, since which time he has suffered recurrent lung problems. In recent years, he has gradually withdrawn from the spotlight due to health issues.

Nelson Mandela's name became associated with the fight against racism for his work in ending apartheid - South Africa's official policy of racial segregation. The Nobel laureate became South Africa's first black president in 1994.

kms/msh (Reuters, dpa)