Revered anti-apartheid activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela was released from a South African hospital on Jan. 28 after successfully battling an acute respiratory infection. Mandela’s release ended international speculation about his failing health and rumored death.

Reuters photographs showed Mandela, 92, leaving Johannesburg, South Africa’s Milpark Hospital on a stretcher surrounded by relatives, security and a flock of journalists. According to acting South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, the Nobel Peace Prize winner will continue treatment at home and is in high spirits.

“What I can convey is that he is receiving the best treatment from the best available health professionals in this country,” Motlanthe said at a press conference. “That should reassure all of us that there is no need for us to panic, there is no need for us to fear for Madiba’s health. He’s in good hands.”

Similarly, South Africa’s majority party, the African National Congress, released a statement praising Mandela’s doctors for their efficient care of the international icon.

“We commend the sterling work done by the medical team led by the Surgeon-General, Lieutenant-General Vejaynand Ramlakan, who was responsible for Madiba’s health and the Milpark Hospital specialized doctors, management and staff.”

News of Mandela’s hospitalization sent shockwaves through the international community, with several media outlets and social networking sites erroneously reporting he was near death.

The African National Congress addressed the slew of rumors, saying, “This announcement brings to end, weeks of speculations and insensitive reporting by some sections of the media on the health of Madiba.”

Mandela was elected South Africa’s first Black president in 1994. Prior to that, he served 27 years in prison for his work to end racial segregation and other social injustices that marked the apartheid regime.