Former South African President Nelson Mandela, at home after a long hospital stay, is alert and playing with his grandchildren, his granddaughter Zaziwe Manaway told CNN exclusively Friday.
Mandela, who is 94, is aware of social media rumors that he's close to death, Manaway said.
"That is absolutely not true. My grandfather is well," she said. "It can be very very hurtful for us to hear these messages out there in the social media that our grandfather is going to go home to die. It is insensitive."
She said she wants to appeal to people spreading those rumors to stop, and to be more sensitive to the family and to Mandela.
"My grandfather still wakes up in the morning [and] reads the newspaper. so is also aware of what is being said around him," Manaway said.
Mandela was treated for an acute respiratory infection in 2011. He was hospitalized for a lung infection on December 8; and on December 15, he underwent surgery for removal of gallstones.
On Wednesday a spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma told media that Mandela had been discharged from the hospital and would continue receiving treatment at his home in Houghton.
Mandela has not appeared in public since the 2010 World Cup hosted in his country.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
A bridge collapse has been reported at a Loop 202 construction site in Mesa.
This is the latest information about the Doce Fire from the Prescott National and U.S. Forest Service.
The massive fire has sent thick plumes of smoke across northern Arizona.
Dry air and hot conditions continue but now we're adding gusty winds into the mix and that's making for another day of dangerous fire conditions. Find out which areas are facing the greatest threat.
Several hundred homes are under a mandatory evacuation order as crews continue to battle the Doce Fire.
A wind-fueled wildfire that broke out Tuesday morning in the Prescott National Forest has grown to 5,000 acres in a matter of hours.