Foreign media report on ‘racial tension’

2013-06-27 00:00

THE Guardian yesterday reported that French media claim whites in South Africa are not honouring former president Nelson Mandela outside the Pretoria Heart Hospital because they are worried about what will happen after his death.

In a report carried by France 24, which focused on alleged racial tension outside the hospital, Charlotte Boitiaux claimed that “almost no white people come to the hospital to honour him [Mandela]”.

According to her, black people outside the hospital are angry because there are no whites. She reported that a security guard said: “They are scared because they know that things will change when Mandela dies”.

She wrote that there were a few lone white faces in the crowd and that there was still racial tension, adding that apartheid has never stopped in Pretoria.

Reuters reported that Mandela was South Africa’s “pillar of peace” and that a bystander at the hospital said these were difficult times for all Africans.

The BBC and the New York Times also referred to racial tension and called Mandela “South Africa’s first black president”.

M.S. Prabhakara, an veteran journalist from India, castigated the BBC.

Prabhakara had worked as foreign correspondent in South Africa for the Indian newspaper the Hindu.

Prabhakara wrote in a letter to the Hindu that it is horrible to refer to Mandela as a first black president, adding it would be more accurate and politically correct to describe him as “South Africa’s first president who was democratically elected”.

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