South African anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu, 87, has returned home after a two-week stay in hospital, his office said Friday, adding he was "re-gathering his strength".

His foundation "wishes to thank all who have sent messages and prayers, including on social media, for the Arch's swift return to his feet," it said.

The Nobel Peace laureate was taken to hospital in Cape Town on September 27 for tests. No further updates about his health were released.

He was hospitalised four times in 2016 and underwent minor surgery for a persistent infection linked to the prostate cancer treatment he has received for nearly two decades.

The much-loved former archbishop of Cape Town gained worldwide prominence for his strong opposition to apartheid white-minority rule in South Africa.

He won the Nobel Peace Price in 1984.

Tutu has retired from public life but last month issued a statement confirming his support for the "right to die" after a South African campaigner was charged with murder over the assisted suicide of a quadriplegic man.