Nelson Mandela has gone home after almost three months in hospital with a recurring lung infection.
However the 95-year old anti-apartheid campaigner remains in a critical condition.
The BBC says the former president was taken by ambulance from a hospital in Pretoria to his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.
It believes he was scheduled to leave the hospital a day earlier but was not cleared to travel by doctors.
Mr Mandela's release was confirmed by the South African government in a statement on its website, which says Mr Mandela's condition remains critical and is at times unstable.
But it says Mr Mandela's doctors are convinced he will receive the same level of intensive care at his home that he received in Pretoria.
The statement says Mr Mandela's home has been "reconfigured" to allow that care and the personnel providing care at his home are the very same who provided it in hospital.