Dubya’s Madiba blooper

2013-09-02 00:00

FORMER U.S. president George Bush yesterday pre-empted Nelson Mandela’s passing when his spokesperson mistakenly issued a condolences statement about the “still alive Mandela”, according to the Politico website.

Maggie Haberman reported that the statement was issued by long-standing Bush spokesperson Jim McGrath.

“Barbara and I mourn the passing of one of the great believers in freedom we have had the privilege to know. As president, I watched in wonder as Nelson Mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers following 26 years of wrongful imprisonment – setting a powerful example of redemption and grace for us all. He was a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country. Barbara and I had great respect for President Mandela and send our condolences to his family and countrymen,” McGrath reportedly said.

A short while later McGrath tweeted and e-mailed a statement that the earlier statement was based “on a flash from the Washington Post”, that they had no independent verification of events in South Africa and that Mandela’s condition was still listed as critical when he was discharged from hospital.

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