International news agencies Reuters and AP set up surveillance cameras outside former South African president Nelson Mandela's rural home, police and spokesmen for the agencies said on Thursday.

"So far we've managed to recover two cameras in a house in the village not far from Mr Mandela's house," police spokesman Mzukisi Fatyela told AFP.

"The cameras were put there without the knowledge of his family or the authorities."

He said both cameras were removed on Monday and that authorities "strongly believe" there are others set up in the village.

South Africa's Times newspaper said the CCTV cameras had been installed as long as six years ago in the house of a neighbour who lives across from Mandela's homestead in Qunu, in South Africa's Eastern Cape province.

Britain-based Reuters and US news agency the Associated Press (AP) both confirmed they had set up cameras there.

"We did have a camera and it has been removed," Reuters spokeswoman Joanne Crosby told AFP, declining to comment further...