Malawi president in SA

2012-04-06 16:49

Blantyre - Malawi's president is being treated in South Africa for an undisclosed ailment, state media reported on Friday, as citizens in the Southern African nation awaited word on their leader's condition and their political future.

Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to journalists had said that 78-year-old President Bingu wa Mutharika had a heart problem and was first taken to a hospital in Lilongwe, the capital. State media reported he would be moved to South Africa, which has some of the best hospitals in the region, and confirmed on Friday he had been transferred.

South African foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Clayson Monyela said it was a matter for Malawi, not his government, to address. Also in South Africa, Erin Walsh, spokesperson for Netcare Milpark Hospital, said she could neither confirm nor deny reports Mutharika had been admitted to her Johannesburg facility.

In Malawi, government officials said more details will be released later on Friday. Reporters were told to expect a press conference with Vice President Joyce Banda, but it was repeatedly delayed. At one point during the day, she was said to be meeting with foreign diplomats.

Banda had clashed with Mutharika and was expelled from his party and formed her own. She remained vice-president. Under the constitution, she would become president if there were a sudden vacancy at the top.

Among world's poorest

Mutharika is a former World Bank official once heralded for his stewardship of a Southern African country that is among the world's poorest. In recent years, he has been accused of trampling on democratic rights.

Mutharika first came to power in a 2004 election, and was overwhelmingly re-elected five years later. Elections are not due again in Malawi until 2014.

During his first term, Mutharika persisted with a programme to help farmers buy fertiliser even though Western donor nations and agencies said subsidies should be avoided in a free market. His subsidies were credited with boosting Malawi's economy.

In more recent years, the economy has stumbled, with shortages of fuel and foreign currency and high unemployment.

Anti-government demonstrations across Malawi last year were met with an unprecedented security crackdown that resulted in at least 19 deaths.

Malawi's relations with foreign donors have been strained by accusations Mutharika is authoritarian and responsible for human rights abuses. Last month, a US aid agency that rewards good governance suspended $350 million worth of assistance to Malawi.

  • FeebleGastro - 2012-04-06 17:03

    He's dead, he's not dead ..... WTF?

      Assegai - 2012-04-06 17:23

      Absolutely! This is BAD reporting. We have been celebrating this old corrupt b@st@rd's death and now he is alive?????

  • Ngaka - 2012-04-06 17:04


  • Judith - 2012-04-06 17:04

    Strange - we are treating an dead man? Most people in Malawi understand he's dead. How can he be being treated here?

      Brett - 2012-04-06 17:24

      Because there are no white doctors in malawi.

  • Robbie - 2012-04-06 17:07

    News 24- I thought you said he was dead earlier???????

      Pule - 2012-04-06 17:49


  • tom.vorster - 2012-04-06 17:07

    Another example of an African Solution to an African Problem - baffle the masses and they wont rise up and celebrate the demise of a "fine democrat".

  • Bongani - 2012-04-06 17:07

    What the hell??

  • marnalouw - 2012-04-06 17:13

    ...uuh...I though he was dead.

  • Timothy - 2012-04-06 17:15

    Can somebody who is looking at him right now please tell us if he is dead or alive? Mortuary staff or hospital staff please update us.

  • Nigel - 2012-04-06 17:16

    Bizarre. Not the way an open democracy behaves.

  • Dejavu - 2012-04-06 17:18

    Hey! Ja I wont jst believe these dyz

  • Michael McN - 2012-04-06 17:26

    Heeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyy!!! wa Mutharika is not supposed to be raised from the dead until Sunday!!!!! "the Greatest Story Ever Sold, Act Two, Scene Two, Take Two." From the top now, fellas, and let's get it right this time, OK!? And ..... ACTION!!!

  • dave.leverton - 2012-04-06 17:28

    Quite bizarre - Wikipedia says he died in Lilongwe, Malawi. If that is so, are our hospitals that good that they can bring him back to life ? If not, why did they fly a corpse to Johannesburg ? News24 - would you like to let us know wtf is going on ?!

  • KCorsar - 2012-04-06 17:28

    News24 reports he is in SA hospital Reuters reports he is dead OK so which agency has their facts and house in order

  • Kobus - 2012-04-06 17:37

    According to an overseas News Agency, he already died this morning.

  • tony.kirby1 - 2012-04-06 17:40

    To die or not to die

  • Masasi - 2012-04-06 17:44

    Conflicting news from one source

  • lindaawhelan - 2012-04-06 18:04

    He was dead and now he is not dead, well it is Easter!

  • Charles - 2012-04-06 18:16

    Where is my last comment? Am I being censored by the free media I love ??

  • Jenny - 2012-04-06 18:17

    Where will all these dictators go for medical help once SA has gone down the same path as their own countries, I wonder?

      Pulverturm - 2012-04-08 08:39

      Europe... America... it's just a little further for them to travel...

  • Charles - 2012-04-06 18:20

    How come comments that are uncomfortable for this forum do not make it into the public domain?? This is not the first time I have experienced this. I do not support info bill but find this kind of default censorship chilling.

  • Charles - 2012-04-06 18:23

    Quick guys! Dont buy this BS. This forum is entertainment and is edited accordingly. Dont trust these FFs

  • Michelle - 2012-04-06 18:24

    This is what \Nuus24\ has to say: \Volgens 'n hospitaalbron is Mutharika kort nĂ¡ middernag oorlede en na Suid-Afrika geneem sodat hy gebalsem kon word.\ So the corpse is in SA to be mumified?

  • Charles - 2012-04-06 18:32

    Maybe i am too stupid to understand the editorial process in environments like this. But vaively I have submitted comments during the last few months and noticed that they have not been published or have been un tracable. I frankly do not give a flee's fart for news 24s credibilty and shall make it my business to seek alternative stages for my vitriole. Advise you do the same

  • Mos - 2012-04-06 23:01

    Nxoowonadi ndinali konko lero lonsy! Owky now! w@ a busy day it oz! Rly tired gotta sleep! nyt u'all!o!

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