South African govt denies Mandela discharged from hospital

Former South African president Nelson Mandela at his home in Qunu, Eastern Cape on July 17, 2012. South Africa's presidency on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013, denied reports that Mr Mandela had been discharged from hospital and had returned to
Former South African president Nelson Mandela at his home in Qunu, Eastern Cape on July 17, 2012. South Africa's presidency on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013, denied reports that Mr Mandela had been discharged from hospital and had returned to his Johannesburg home. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP - CLINTON FOUNDATION / BARBARA KINNEY

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South Africa's presidency on Saturday denied reports that former president Nelson Mandela had been discharged from hospital and had returned to his Johannesburg home.

Mr Mac Maharaj said he had received no word from doctors about Mr Mandela being released, as reported by the BBC and Britain's Sky television.

"I have not been told that," he told AFP.

"I don't think that is true."

"Madiba is still in hospital in Pretoria and remains in a critical but stable condition," Maharaj later said in a statement.

During Mr Mandela's more than 80-day time in hospital, the presidency, through Mr Maharaj, has been the official source of information about the anti-apartheid icon's condition.

The 95-year-old has been in hospital since June 8 and for most of that period has been in critical condition.