Ailing Mandela is sent home in critical condition

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

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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

Nelson Mandela, still in critical condition with a chronic lung infection, was discharged from a hospital and taken by ambulance to his home in Johannesburg on Sunday 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 says the office of current 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."

The Nobel Peace laureate was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night in June 8. His recent health scare 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 12:50 p.m. PST

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."

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