Mandela story distorted - Jansen

2013-04-08 10:19
Prof Jonathan Jansen (Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

Prof Jonathan Jansen (Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

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Bloemfontein - University of the Free State vice-chancellor Professor Jonathan Jansen on Monday morning dismissed a report quoting him as saying he wished former president Nelson Mandela would die.

"I truly wish Madiba would live forever. I also wish some journalists would have more ethics before completely distorting a message," he tweeted on Monday morning.

A user on social media site Twitter sent Jansen a tweet, saying: "I'm assuming the 'report' about you wishing Mandela would die is garbage? What the papers will do to grab a headline is scary."

Jansen responded by saying it was "absolute garbage".

Statement

His spokesperson Lacea Loader said a statement addressing the matter would be issued later on Monday morning.

Volksblad newspaper reported on Jansen's comments during a leadership summit at the campus on Sunday.

"Don't you also wish he would die?" Jansen reportedly asked a group of about 250 students.

Volksblad reported that the students were noticeably shocked when they heard the question.

"Every time we hear he's in hospital, everyone thinks, this is it, he's going to die this time. Big Mac [Maharaj, presidential spokesman] is lying when he says Madiba is in for check-ups. When you are 94, you go to hospital to die; not for routine tests," Jansen reportedly said.

Approached for comment on Sunday evening, Loader told Volksblad he meant to say that former president Nelson Mandela should be left to die in peace.

Mandela was discharged on Saturday after being admitted to a Pretoria hospital on 27 March to receive treatment for a lung condition.

Volksblad reported that Mac Maharaj was angry when asked for comment.

"I'll think about it carefully. I need to give the matter careful consideration before I comment," said Maharaj.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  jonathan jansen  |  bloemfontein

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