CAPE TOWN, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela was "fully alive," contrary to media reports that he was in a vegetative state, his grandson Mandla Mandela said on Sunday.
Mandla was speaking soon after his grandfather was released from hospital following almost three months of treatment for a recurring lung infection.
Mandela's discharge was "particularly heartening because it flies in the face of those who have been busy spreading lies that he was in a 'vegetative state' and just waiting for his support machines to be switched off," Mandla said in a statement.
These kind of people had been "in effect declaring him dead while he was fully alive," Mandla said in apparent reference to Western media reports which have been spreading rumors about Mandela's health, even his death.
Mandla said the Presidency has done a "sterling job" in issuing updates to keep the public updated about Mandela's health "amidst false reporting and often negative rumors of doom spread all over the world by unscrupulous individuals."
Mandela returned to his home in Johannesburg early Sunday, but his condition remained critical and "at times unstable," the Presidency said.
Mandela's home has been furnished with all the medical equipment used to treat him in hospital, and the 95-year-old anti- apartheid icon will receive intensive care under the observation of the same medical team, according to the Presidency.
Mandla said "today is a day of celebration" as Mandela "is finally back home with us."
"Finally everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that our prayers have found favor with the almighty," Mandla said.
"As long as he is still with us, we will celebrate every day with him. It is our prayer that the almighty will give him good health for as long as he is with us on this earth."
Since Mandela was rushed to a Pretoria hospital on June 8, the Presidency has declared his condition as critical but stable.
News about Mandela's health has been fluctuant. Sometimes he was said to have showed signs of sustained improvement, and most often he was reported to be in critical but stable condition.
In announcing Mandela's release from hospital, the Presidency said Mandela's condition has been "vacillated between serious to critical and at times unstable."
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been suffering from a recurring lung infection, which is the result of tuberculosis developed when he was imprisoned during the apartheid period.