(JOHANNESBURG, South Africa) — Former South African president Nelson Mandela was released from the hospital Sunday after being admitted to receive treatment for a long-standing stomach ailment, officials said.
Mandela “is surrounded by his family and is relaxed and comfortable. The doctors are happy with the progress he is making,” South African President Jacob Zuma said in a statement. “We thank all South Africans for their love and support of Madiba. We also thank all for affording Madiba and his family privacy and dignity.”
Over the years, the 93-year-old anti-apartheid crusader has had his share of health issues.
Last year, Mandela spent a week in the hospital battling a respiratory infection.
In 2001, Mandela was diagnosed with prostate cancer but doctors said that wasn’t unusual for man of Mandela’s age. He was treated with radiation therapy.
The former president has scaled back his public appearances in recent years.
In 2011, he hosted Michelle Obama when the first lady traveled to South Africa with her daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Mandela was released from prison in 1990, after serving nearly three decades of hard labor at Robben Island.
The mythical figure who fought to dismantle the country’s racist regime was elected as South Africa’s first black president in 1994. Mandela won in a landslide.
After he left office in 1999, Mandela became a global statesman, mediating conflicts in some of the world’s most troubled regions.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
James Griffiths and Shen Lu
Mohammed Tawfeeq and Gul Tuysuz, CNN
Steve Visser and Masoud Popalzai, CNN
Angela Dewan, CNN