A representative of the African National Congress said Saturday the South African government may release black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela as early as Tuesday.

"There are very strong rumors in South Africa today that on Nov. 15 Nelson Mandela will be released," said Yusef Saloojee, chief representative in Canada for the ANC, which is fighting to end white-minority rule in South Africa.Mandela, the 70-year-old leader of the ANC jailed 27 years ago, was sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to overthrow the South African government. He was transferred from prison to a hospital in August for treatment of tuberculosis.