It’s our duty to report on Tata

2013-06-16 14:00

This week, as the health of our beloved elder statesman Nelson Mandela deteriorated, the media camped outside the Pretoria hospital where he is being treated.

Journalists have come under fire for this, vilified as vultures and stalkers who are only interested in reader, viewer and listener numbers, and in advertising rands.

The truth, however, is that nobody wants to be there, waiting for the end of our democracy’s revered founding father. We are there because we serve our readers, because it is our patriotic duty to report on how ordinary people are responding to his latest health crisis, and to bring them the latest news.

Although the presidency is doing an admirable job of updating the public on Madiba’s state of health, these reports do not come as regularly as we or our readers would necessarily like. We also understand that there are only so many times that one can say the former president’s condition is unchanged.

Mandela was one of the most influential statesmen of the past 100 years, and he is

as dear to South African citizens and the world at large as he is to his own family. His family has acknowledged as much, thanking all for their support and prayers.

In the twilight of his life, we have a duty to bring the news to those who love him. Not because we are vultures, but because we care.

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