Mandela could soon be discharged, Mbeki says

Nelson Madela seen in an image taken from video on April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. (AP Photo/SABC TV)
Nelson Madela seen in an image taken from video on April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. (AP Photo/SABC TV)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A former president of South Africa says he expects Nelson Mandela to soon be discharged from the hospital to recuperate at home.

South Africa’s radio broadcaster Eyewitness News reported on Sunday that Thabo Mbeki was speaking at a memorial service Saturday when he predicted that Mandela would be going home.

Mandela has been hospitalized for more than five weeks for a recurring lung infection, sparking an outpouring of support in South Africa and internationally. Friends who have visited him say he is on life support in the form of mechanical ventilation. The most recent official update on his health said Mandela was in critical but stable condition.

The anti-apartheid hero spent 27 years in prison before becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994. He turns 95 on Thursday.

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