Tutu discharged from hospital after successful treatment

Desmond Tutu takes part in a meeting on November 6, 2012 in Johannesburg.  By Stephane de Sakutin (AFP/File)

Desmond Tutu takes part in a meeting on November 6, 2012 in Johannesburg. By Stephane de Sakutin (AFP/File)

CAPE TOWN (AFP) – Peace icon Desmond Tutu has been discharged from a South African hospital after he was successfully treated for a persistent infection with no new cancer scare, his foundation said Monday.

The 81-year-old retired archbishop, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, checked into hospital five days ago for tests and treatment for a persistent infection.

Tutu was discharged “following successful treatment”, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said in a statement, without disclosing when he was released.

“A battery of tests to determine the underlying cause of the infection, and its persistency, uncovered no new malignancy. Management of the archbishop’s prostate cancer will continue,” it added.

Tutu, who is fondly known as “the Arch”, will now spend some time at his Cape Town home.

“The archbishop will be spending some quiet time at home in Cape Town to recover his sparkle,” said the statement.

Under apartheid, Tutu campaigned against white minority rule during the years that Nelson Mandela was imprisoned and was awarded the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

Officially retired but still outspoken on the world’s injustices, he is widely viewed as South Africa’s moral conscience.

As well-known for his air of playfulness as his serious causes, Tutu got up to dance at a celebration for a recent award just weeks before his admission to the undisclosed hospital.

After surviving an illness believed to be polio as a baby, he battled tuberculosis as a teenager and latterly, prostate cancer.

Nearly 10 years later after his diagnosis in 1997, Tutu announced the cancer had returned after having gone into remission, but was non-aggressive.

In December 2011, he underwent minor elective surgery in Cape Town for an undisclosed complaint.