JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Former President Nelson Mandela was discharged from hospital on Wednesday evening after staying there almost three weeks, the Presidency said.
Mandela "will undergo home-based high care at his Houghton home until he recovers fully," Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.
"We thank the public and the media for the good wishes and for affording Madiba and the family the necessary privacy.
"We request a continuation of the privacy consideration in order to allow for the best possible conditions for full recovery, " Maharaj added.
Mandela, 94, was admitted into a Pretoria hospital on Dec. 8 for a lung infection and gallstones. He underwent a successful surgery to have the gallstones removed after doctors attended to his lung infection.
This was Mandela's longest hospital stay since 2001 when he underwent seven weeks of radiotherapy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The anti-apartheid hero spent Christmas Day on Tuesday with his wife Graca and other family members along with President Jacob Zuma.
Mandela "looks much better" and "is in good spirits", Zuma said after the visiting Mandela in hospital, adding that the doctors at the hospital were happy with the progress that Mandela was making.
The whole country has been praying for Mandela's speedy recovery.
Mandela served as South African president from 1994 to 1999. He had spent 27 years in prison before elected the first black president in the country after the end of apartheid.