Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who had been hospitalized since June 8 with a serious lung infection, was released from a Pretoria hospital on Sunday and returned to his Johannesburg home, where he will continue receiving intensive care, officials said.

The 95-year-old Mandela remains in "critical and sometimes unstable condition," the Office of the President said.

Mandela arrived at his home in a private ambulance around 11:00 a.m., just before the Office of the President announced he had left the hospital, the City Press newspaper reported.

The focus of the press and public has now shifted from Pretoria's MediClinic Heart Hospital to the former president's residence in the upscale Houghton neighborhood.

The icon of the struggle against South Africa's former apartheid regime turned 95 in the hospital on July 18, receiving tributes and congratulations that day from hundreds of thousands of South Africans and leaders and well-wishers from around the world.

Mandela's lung problems are a legacy of the tuberculosis he contracted during the 27 years he spent in prison for his opposition to racial segregation.

After his release in 1990, Mandela and the last president of apartheid-era South Africa, F.W. de Klerk, led the process of peacefully dismantling that racist system.

They jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their collaboration in that effort.

Elected president in 1994, Mandela's leadership was credited with helping to avert widespread racial violence in post-apartheid South Africa. EFE