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S.Africa TV shows new images of Mandela

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The first images of Nelson Mandela in almost nine months showed the South African peace icon looking thin but sitting upright on Monday, after his latest hospitalisation.

The 94-year-old appeared slightly gaunt and showing little expression in brief images captured at his Johannesburg home by South Africa's state broadcaster SABC.

Wearing flamboyant black and white patterned shirt, Mandela was sat in a beige armchair with his legs up and covered with a white blanket.

He was flanked by President Jacob Zuma, who visited along with a delegation from the ruling ANC on Monday.

They were the first public images of Mandela since then US secretary of state Hilary Clinton visited in August.

The footage was broadcast after the visit by Zuma and a delegation of ANC leaders who said the elder statesman was in "good shape."

"They found president Mandela in good shape and in good spirits," the party said in a statement.

Zuma and the top brass of the African National Congress dropped in on the ailing Nobel Peace Prize winner at his home, where he has been recuperating under high-care since his hospital release earlier this month.

Mandela returned home on April 6 after spending 10 days in hospital being treated for a recurrent lung infection.

The ANC visitors were briefed by Mandela's medical team and "are satisfied that president Mandela is in good health and is receiving the very best medical care".

The ANC said Mandela was "keenly aware of the goodwill that has been outpouring from the peoples of the globe as befitting his status as our icon".

"The African National Congress thanks all South Africans and the international community for keeping president Mandela in their thoughts and prayers," it added.

Mandela's latest hospitalisation was his third since December.

South Africa's first black president was admitted for a night for a scheduled check-up in March and in December he was hospitalised for 18 days for a lung infection and gallstones surgery.

That stint was his longest since he walked free from 27 years in jail in 1990.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130429/safrica-tv-shows-new-images-mandela