*South Africans heaved a sigh of relief after their beloved former president, Nelson Mandela, 92, was discharged from a hospital and returned home Friday.

He was driven home about lunchtime in a military ambulance, after doctors announced he had suffered an acute respiratory infection but was recovering well.

News of the acute illness contradicted earlier reports from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and African National Congress that nothing serious was wrong with Mandela, known affectionately by South Africans by his clan name, Madiba.

Read MORE of this on-the-scene LA Times report HERE.

Watch this AP report of his release from hospital here: