Cameras: Mandela Foundation won't comment

2011-12-15 20:13

Cape Town - The Nelson Mandela Foundation has refused to comment on reports that international news agencies had erected cameras outside former president Nelson Mandela's home in the Eastern Cape.

"You'll have to call the police and the security agencies on that one," foundation spokesperson Sello Hatang said.

A report in The Times newspaper on Thursday said international news agencies had set up cameras outside Mandela's home in Qunu, for as long as six years.

The newspaper quoted Chieftainess Nokwanele Balizulu, who lives directly opposite Mandela's home, confirming that she had given permission for CCTV cameras to be installed at her house.

"I agreed to having those cameras there, but I'm not going to say anything else," she said.

The daily said there had been at least three cameras for as long as six years on her property, which belong to the US-based Associated Press and UK news agency Reuters.


AP spokesperson Paul Colford told The Times: "They are not surveillance cameras. Along with other media, the AP has preparedness around Mr Mandela's eventual passing.

"The AP cameras were not switched on and would only be used in the event of a major news story involving the former president."

Police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela said the police had recovered two cameras in a house in the village not far from Mandela's home.

"The cameras were put there without the knowledge of the authorities," he said.

Both cameras were removed on Monday. It is believed that other cameras are set up in the village.

Reuters's Southern Africa bureau chief referred queries to its London office, which was not available for comment on Thursday afternoon.

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