Mandela funeral rights ‘never sold’ to SABC

2011-07-21 11:23

Contrary to media reports, the SABC and former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela, never concluded a deal on exclusive rights for the elderly statesman’s funeral.

After completing an investigation on the alleged deal, first reported in Sunday World in May 2009, the SABC announced today that there was never a deal on Mandela’s funeral.

The announcement follows a meeting the public broadcaster had with the Mandelas last week in Qunu, Mthatha, where Mandela grew up.

The Sunday World report claimed Mandla had been paid R3 million by the SABC for exclusive rights to Mandela’s funeral.

Mandla said the family would demand a public apology but was prepared to reconcile.

“We don’t know of any funeral rights. Even us will be guided by government,” he said.

Mandla said the former president would be laid to rest in a state funeral and his family would take its lead from government.

However, Mandla distanced the Mandela family from any talk of a funeral.

“In our culture, we don’t discuss a funeral of a person when they’re still alive,” he said.

The Mandelas, Mandla said, have never sat in any meetings where the former ANC president’s funeral was discussed.

SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the SABC would work with other broadcasters when the funeral takes place.

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