Mandela to return to Johannesburg home

AFP , Saturday 28 Jan 2012

The 93 year-old ex-South African President Nelson Mandela returns to his Johannesburg home with assurances on his good health condition

South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela (Photo:Reuters)

Nelson Mandela is to return to his Johannesburg home on Sunday from his native village, South African authorities said, adding that the 93-year-old anti-apartheid icon was well.

"Former president Nelson Mandela will return to his home in Johannesburg on Sunday ... as routine maintenance has to be undertaken at his Qunu home in the Eastern Cape," a statement from current President Jacob Zuma's office said.

"The former president continues to be in good health," it said, adding, "We once more appeal for his privacy and that of his family to be respected."

Mandela, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, was elected the country's first black president in South Africa's first all-race vote in 1994 and served one term before stepping down in 1999.

He settled at his rural home in the Eastern Cape province 800 kilometres (500 miles) from Johannesburg after being hospitalised a year ago for an acute respiratory infection.

His health has since been the focus of intense national and international media attention.

Last month a series of tweets mistakenly announced that he had been hospitalised again after a local television channel showed archive footage of his January illness in a review of 2011.

"Former President Nelson Mandela is in good health, good spirits and enjoying the festive season at his home in Qunu," presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj responded.

But he failed to attend the 100th anniversary celebrations of the ruling African National Congress earlier this month, and sent no message of support.

He last appeared in public at the football World Cup in South Africa in July 2010.

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