Doctors treating former South African leader and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela believe the 94-year-old should remain in Johannesburg to be close to medical facilities.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said doctors think it is “necessary and good” for Mr Mandela to stay in his home in the Johannesburg neighbourhood of Houghton.
In recent years, the anti-apartheid icon who served a five-year term as president has lived in the village of Qunu in Eastern Cape province, where he grew up.
He was admitted to hospital on 8 December to be treated for a lung infection and also had a procedure to remove gallstones.
In recent days, officials said, Mr Mandela has improved and in good spirits, but doctors have taken extraordinary care with his health because of his age.
“Where Madiba goes, in which period, in which times, is a matter that is entirely dependent on his own wishes. Whatever he wishes, we will do,” Mr Maharaj said, referring to the statesman by his Xhosa tribal nickname.
“But right now, the doctors have considered it necessary and good that he should be in Houghton so that he’s close to all the facilities where we can give him high care”.
President Jacob Zuma was among those who joined Mr Mandela’s wife Graca Machel and other family members in wishing a Merry Christmas to Mr Mandela at his hospital bedside in Pretoria, the South African capital.