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According to former president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela may be released from the hospital soon and allowed to recover at home.

Mbeki made the prediction on Mandela being discharged Saturday while giving a memorial lecture for the African National Congress. The lecture was reported by South African radio news service Eyewitness News.

As we’ve reported, it’s been five weeks since Mandela went to the hospital for a recurring lung infection. His ailment brought in a massive amount of support in South Africa and internationally. Word from some of Mandela’s friends who saw him in the hospital is that he is on life support.

Mandela was said to be in critical but stable condition according to the most recent reports on his health. But Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, and current president, Jacob Zuma, have said recently that Mandela is responding to treatment.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison before becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994. God willing, he’ll turn 95 on Thursday.

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