Mandela Returns Home “to See Out his Final Days”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 1 2013 2:23 PM

Report: Nelson Mandela Returns Home “to See Out his Final Days”

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An ambulance carrying former South African president Nelson Mandela arrives at his house in Johannesburg

Photo by ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images

Former South African president Nelson Mandela was discharged from the hospital, where he had been receiving treatment since June 8. His home has  been transformed into an intensive-care ward to treat the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. South Africa’s City Press claims Mandela was sent home because hospital staff believed “it is now time for Mandela to be moved home to see out his final days—though it is not clear how long that might be.”

The office of South African President Jacob Zuma released a statement saying Mandela will be receiving the same level of intensive care at his home as in the hospital. Indeed, the anti-apartheid leader will even be treated by the same doctors who oversaw his care at the hospital. Mandela’s “condition remains critical and is at times unstable,” notes the statement. Mandela was rushed to the hospital almost three months ago, when he was suffering from a recurring infection of the lungs, “a legacy of the nearly three decades he spent in jail under apartheid,” points out Reuters.

In the time since, there have been frequent fears that the man many see as the father of post-apartheid South Africa was near death. Areas near the hospital and his home were turned into “makeshift shrines where people sang, prayed and left messages of support,” notes the Associated Press. City Press claims Mandela’s family had been wanting to take the former president home for the past few days but the plan had to be delayed because of his fluctuating health conditions.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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