(NBC NEWS) -- Nelson Mandela was discharged on Saturday from the hospital where he had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia, South Africa's presidency said in a statement.
The decision to release the 94-year-old, anti-apartheid icon was taken "following a sustained and gradual improvement in his general condition," the statement said.
"The former President will now receive home-based high care," it added. "President [Jacob] Zuma thanks the hard-working medical team and hospital staff for looking after Madiba so efficiently."
The statement said Zuma also extended "his gratitude to all South Africans and friends" of the country in Africa and overseas.