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Nelson Mandela Resting at Home, ‘Stronger Than Before’

The former South African president “is healed and is stronger than before,” eldest grandchild Mandla Mandela told AFP.

The upbeat report comes a week after the elder statesman was discharged from hospital, where he received treatment for a recurrent lung infection and had gallstone surgery. The hospital stay had been Mandela’s longest since being released from prison in 1990.

“As the family of Mandela, we thank… the people of South Africa as a whole who prayed for the old man whilst he was sick,” said Mandla Mandela, a traditional leader and member of Parliament.

Messages of support and prayers for the anti-apartheid hero, affectionately known by his clan name Madiba, poured in as he lay in hospital for much of December.

“I really appreciate these prayers because my grandpa is healed and is stronger than before,” Mandla, who is the head of the Mandela family clan, said in a telephone interview.

Earlier on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman, Mac Maharaj, said doctors had not updated the presidency on Mandela’s health, but that no news was good news.

“Madiba is continuing to progress,” Maharaj told AFP. “In the absence of a statement, please conclude that it’s all moving reasonably well.”

Mandela was flown to a Pretoria hospital on Dec. 8 from his rural village home in Qunu, in the south of the country.

He was discharged to his Johannesburg home a day after Christmas to receive “home-based high care” until he makes a full recovery.

Since he went home medics said “he was improving,” said Maharaj.

“The doctors are happy, there’s no crisis, they’ve taken him out of hospital, they’ve taken him home.”

On Friday, his daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini told AFP that he is “doing great” and enjoying time with his family at his Johannesburg home.

After serving one term as president, Mandela stepped away from politics, but he still bestrides the life of the nation, which he led toward democracy.

In contrast to his public stature, Mandela the man has grown increasingly frail in recent years, choosing to retire to his home village.

South Africa’s first black president after the country’s first all-race elections in 1994, Mandela has a long history of lung problems, dating back to the time when he was an apartheid political prisoner on Robben Island…

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