JOHANNESBURG - The first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, left the hospital Friday after two days of hospitalization for an acute respiratory infection and receive care at home, said the chief doctor of the national army .
"The doctors were allowed to leave the clinic," he told reporters Vejaynand Ramlakan, head of the military medical team assigned to track heads of state on or moved from South Africa.
Around 1:20 p.m. (11:20 GMT), a convoy of about twenty police cars and official vehicles came to the property of Mr. Mandela, in the heart of a quiet district of Johannesburg, according to an AFP correspondent.
The police blocked the surrounding streets and journalists could not see the icon of the anti-apartheid, now a frail old man of 92 years.
Mr. Mandela is "in stable condition but will be closely monitored," said the chief medical officer, noting that the ability of this man recover was "surprised" staff Milpark Clinic, located a few miles from his home.
No official information on his health had been reported since the hospital admission of Mr Mandela on Wednesday, fueling speculation and concern.
The former president "is suffering from diseases common in people his age," noted Mr. Ramlakan. On this land chronic, "he recently developed an acute respiratory infection and was very responsive to treatment."
"It's probably not as mobile as we would have liked but his attitude (positive) to help withstand the vicissitudes of old age very gracefully," said the doctor, promising now regularly publishing newsletters health.
The vice-president of the country, Kgalema Motlanthe, has urged his side population "to continue to pray that Madiba is with us to celebrate his 93 years (July 18, 2011) and beyond."
Today, "there is no reason to panic, no need to fear for the health of Madiba," Motlanthe said, using the clan name of Mr. Mandela, now with "Tata" (Grand father) the affectionate nickname by which South Africans of all races refer to their hero.
During his hospitalization, the architect of the smooth transition of South Africa to democracy has "joked" during the many visits from relatives and personality, "said vice-president.
During the two days of official silence, the country held its breath. "All children in South Africa think of him," said Mogale and Boitumelo, a 15 year old boy attending school near the clinic.
"This is one of the greatest men of the South African history. It has done so much for our country," added the youngster.
Keneilwe Mathamela, 15, admitted his "difficulty concentrating" on prices. "We are all the time looking out the window to see what happens. We just want it back ourselves."
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in apartheid jails. He won the heart of the whole nation by promoting reconciliation after his triumphant election to the end of the first multiracial elections in 1994.
Retired from active politics since 2001, two years after leaving the presidency at the end of his term, he was more discreet. His last public appearance was at the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup soccer in Johannesburg, where he seemed happy but very frail.