Mandela leaves hospital after 'successful' surgery


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The Independent Online

South Africa's ex- president Nelson Mandela was discharged from hospital yesterday after exploratory keyhole surgery for a long-standing abdominal complaint.

Officials declared the procedure to have been successful. "He is surrounded by his family and is relaxed and comfortable," said the South African President, Jacob Zuma.

The Defence Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, said the 93-year-old former leader had a laparoscopy – a minor surgical procedure in which a fibre-optic instrument is used to view the abdomen or remove small growths.

Just over a year ago, South Africa's first black president was admitted to hospital for two days for the treatment of an acute respiratory infection.

Mr Mandela retired from public life in 2004, His last public appearance was at the closing ceremony of the World Cup in July 2010.

The health of the peace icon has become the subject of some intense speculation. In January last year, the world's media camped outside Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg during Mr Mandela's hospitalisation with a respiratory illness.