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Ailing Mandela Is Sent Home In Critical Condition

Posted: September 1, 2013

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Doctors says the 95-year-old former South African president and anti-apartheid leader will be able to get the same level of intensive care at his residence in Johannesburg.

Nelson Mandela photographed during a lunch to Benefit the Mandela Children's Foundation in April 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Nelson Mandela photographed during a lunch to Benefit the Mandela Children's Foundation in April 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. Chris Jackson

Nelson Mandela, still in critical condition with a chronic lung infection, was discharged from a hospital Sunday and taken by ambulance to his home in Johannesburg after three months of intensive care. The former South African president and anti-apartheid leader is 95.

The news comes a day after mistaken reports that he had already been sent home from a Pretoria hospital.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that the office of South African President Jacob Zuma says Mandela's condition has "vacillated between serious to critical and at times unstable."

"His home has been reconfigured to allow him to receive intensive care there," the statement said. "The health care personnel providing care at his home are the very same who provided care to him in hospital. If there are health conditions that warrant another admission to hospital in future, this will be done."

Mandela was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night in June 8. His recent health situation has prompted an outpouring of love, sympathy in and outside South Africa.

Zuma has urged South Africans to accept that Mandela is now old and frail, saying all they could do was pray for him.

Update At 9:50 a.m. ET:

A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush retracted a statement released earlier Sunday in which the president and former first lady, Barbara Bush, offered their condolences on the passing of Mandela.

Jim McGrath tweeted that the statement was based on a flash from The Washington Post and that "We have no independent verification of events in South Africa."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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