Don't imprison Madiba again - Sisulu

2012-02-27 08:49

Pretoria - The weekend drama surrounding former president Nelson Mandela's health made the world sit up and take notice, but had a happy ending after Mandela went home following a procedure to determine the origin of abdominal pain.

The diagnostic laparoscopy performed on Mandela was “keyhole surgery” in the abdomen, during which a microscopic camera with optic fibre flash and high definition monitors were used. The images could be seen on TV screens.

Mandela was discharged from 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria on Sunday afternoon, and is recuperating at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

“The doctors assured us there was nothing to worry about and that he was in good health,” said President Jacob Zuma on Sunday.


Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu as well as presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj on Sunday asked the media to respect Mandela’s privacy.

“We can’t have a situation where a man who spent such a big part of his life as a prisoner, is now once again a prisoner of society,” said Sisulu.

Members of the international and local media were camped outside Mandela’s house, 1 Military Hospital and Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after it emerged on Saturday morning that Mandela, 93, had been admitted to hospital.

The presidency didn’t want to say which hospital had admitted him.

Mandela was treated for an acute respiratory infection in Milpark hospital in January last year.

Sisulu said Mandela was admitted to hospital on Saturday morning due to discomfort in his abdomen, about which he had been complaining for some time.

Maharaj said Mandela’s hospital visit had been planned beforehand.

Maharaj said the doctors decided to send Mandela home on Sunday after the procedure showed nothing seriously wrong with him.

Shortly before the presidency announced on Sunday afternoon that Mandela was to be discharged, a police car followed by a black car and an additional three vehicles with tinted windows and screaming sirens sped off in the direction of 1 Military Hospital.

About 40 minutes later, the same convoy came speeding out again.

At about 14:30 a black minibus and black car, both with blue lights on the roof and military registration numbers, drove into the gate of Mandela’s house in Houghton.

Mandela was presumably in one of these vehicles, because shortly afterwards, presidential spokesperson Harold Maloka confirmed that Mandela was at home in Houghton.


A close family member said Mandela was feeling “as one could expect from someone of his age”, and added that he looked well.

"The focus would now be moved to ensuring that he enjoyed the maximum comfort,” said the family member.

Sisulu said Mandela was “very well and as handsome as always”.

Sisulu said a meeting with the media would be held on Monday to discuss how similar situations regarding Mandela would be handled in future.

This came after members of the media who had stood in the street in front of 1 Military Hospital on Saturday morning, were chased to a field behind the Voortrekker Monument.

Journalists were then also told to leave the Milpark hospital’s premises.

  • Poloyatonki - 2012-02-27 08:58

    Its interesting that some people today claim to love Madiba after they locked him in jail for so long.

      Johan - 2012-02-27 09:03

      I think you're missing the point here

      Marion - 2012-02-27 09:07

      As interesting as it may be to you, it is a fact of life that people have come to love the man they never got to know except via the propaganda machine of apartheid. It's even more interesting how many who claim to love Madiba are now destroying the country he gave his youth and health to as their thanks for his sacrifices. The South Africa we have now is definitely not the South Africa Madiba envisioned when he was released from prison.

      msendi - 2012-02-27 09:07

      Who are those people because media didn't lock Mandela in jail. It will be interesting if you are specific…

      John - 2012-02-27 09:10

      It's also interesting how some people are apparently incapable of letting go of the past.

      Vusi - 2012-02-27 09:11

      It is interesting that the world worships a man that helped defraud the country to the tune of R30 Billion in the Arms Deal.......but hardly ever gives any recognition to the man who we really owe our freedom to, the Honourable Tambo...............Long live the memory of Oliver Tambo, while the world chases the wind and a stinking fairytale!

      Marion - 2012-02-27 09:22

      @Vusi - I've heard it said that although Nelson Mandela was president, Thabo Mbeki, as deputy president, was actually running the country behind the scenes.

      John - 2012-02-27 09:28

      @Johan Poloyatonki is a TROLL. "...Sisulu said a meeting with the media would be held on Monday to discuss how similar situations regarding Mandela would be handled in future....." Lindiwe Sisulu, thats nice of you. Please don't forget that MILITARY HOSPITAL is a NEUTRAL FACILITY as per signed Geneva Convention 1949

      Vusi - 2012-02-27 09:29

      @Marion. Yes that is true, but even Mandela's Mozambiquen wife got some kickbacks for her charities in Mozambique......... Go read the real facts Marion behind the way the world created the Masndela fairytale and you will see that Oliver Tambo was the Hero. Mandela deserves no more credit than any of the others that shared Robben Island and look at all of them today????? Was it our freedom that mattered or their bank accounts?

      looneylani - 2012-02-27 09:32

      Either way Marion & Vusi... I think the face we saw at the end of Apartheid was a face of peace and most people act on what they see... as they don't know "behind the scenes" like others do that go in depth and read facts"... people just want the feel good feeling of something that is hyped up and happening!

      Julie - 2012-02-27 09:47

      It's very interesting how being locked in jail for a long time, can change a person completely!

      Marion - 2012-02-27 09:48

      @Vusi - maybe I have selective memory, but I seem to recall something to the effect that Nelson Mandela donated his first year's salary to the Nelson Mandela Children's Foundation. If that is true it is hardly the action of a man who was only looking to feather his own nest. Insofar as Oliver Tambo vs Nelson Mandela goes, I concede that Oliver Tambo would probably have been president, and not Nelson Mandela, if his health had permitted it. Hardly Nelson Mandela's fault. Oliver Tambo went into exile in his official capacity in the ANC to do what the ANC had told him to do. Was it a life of great personal sacrifice? Why do you find it necessary to drag Graca Machel into this argument? In my opinion she has been a gracious and excellent wife to Nelson Mandela and, in my opinion, the best thing he did after getting out of prison was to divorce Winnie who was a disgrace to the Mandela name with her antics. If Graca's charities benefited, then so be it. As long as she wasn't lining her own pockets I don't see what your problem with his 'Mozambicean wife' is.

      kmangi - 2012-02-27 10:09

      @Vusi Wow...dude so much, mare to b honest we can put blame on madela for the ish that the ANC did while he was still president...every movement needs a figure, mandela was that figure, just like Cuba Fidel was the figure even if Che did all the work...same story as Chris Hani ..nobody is perfect lets leave it there

      Nigel - 2012-02-27 10:45

      I dint know that Hendrik Vervoerd claims to have loved Madiba.....he is after all the one that had him locked up in 1962, oh well you learn something every day...speaking of learning...why not read this, I'm sure even you are capable of learning something, you might find it interesting that blacks are not doing so badly (economically that is) as is portrayed by the "prince of the poor"

      Nkulekweni - 2012-02-27 11:02

      Trevor my amper baas broer. You are more ways than you can imagine. 1. This is a story about Mandela. 2. Do not smoke stronger stuff than you can handle when you try to get your head around the land question

      Lambert - 2012-02-27 11:35

      well i think its because he did what they wanted him to do ,therefore they have be grateful.ok

      Juan - 2012-02-27 15:00

      ai,crazy statement this...

  • Cracker - 2012-02-27 09:07

    Sounds like rules are being made as we go along. Mandela is an icon. The media were not inside the hospital. What is this privacy idea? All part of the strategy to find more reasons to undermine the media. We are not aspiring to a secrecy state.

      Cracker - 2012-02-27 09:16

      Nobody of the media "imprisoned" Mandela as claimed by Sisulu in the article above. Metaphors are easy and cheap to create and can be misleading and inaccurate. And of course a handy political tool. Are certain individuals now claiming Mandela for themselves?

      Marion - 2012-02-27 09:50

      @Cracker... the media are like vultures, circling, circling, circling their only concern being getting that winning pic, cover story, trying to make money out of the death of an old man. Perhaps his family is claiming him for themselves as they have every right to do.

      Cracker - 2012-02-27 10:07

      @ Marion What is wrong with it? He is a huge public figure and it is after all the PUBLIC that shows the interest and who ultimately funds the media. His family has in any event been capitalizing hugely out of his public stature. As have so many others and politicians. They still do. It is a lot of hypocrisy going on. As one of the other comments here say, a red tape should do the trick, and why not let the doctors intimately involved release the news direct to the public of Mandela's health state, or must it first be vetted by some before release?

      Marion - 2012-02-27 10:32

      @Cracker - yes, he is a public figure. But does that entitle us to know every detail about his health? For me it is good enough to know that he is in 'good health' which I take to mean is that his health is as good as anyone could expect it to be based on his age and his medical history. And I hope that he will remain in 'good health' for many years to come. What difference does it make whether a doctor or someone else releases the information? Does it lend more credence to the statement if it comes from a doctor? Obviously someone gave Sisulu the right to make the statement or it would not have been made. And we were, rightly, just given enough information to let us know that he is not at death's door.

  • Comrade - 2012-02-27 09:13

    typical cANCer mentality .... "we damand media attention" (NP Appartheid)..... to .... "Media can go and jump" (cANCer Appartheid)

  • mmakgaboe - 2012-02-27 09:14

    The presidency should find a way to meet the media half way. Obviously journalists will follow u'tata wherever he is, a red tape should do the trick and also give proper detailed statements instead of a statement that will leave room for speculation. In fact, perhaps let the doctor give out the statement instead of Mac or anyone else political.

  • MSGRule - 2012-02-27 09:16

    Doctor sent him home as there is nothing they can do. The poor guy is 93, he is not going to be in "good" health

  • Dennis - 2012-02-27 09:18

    I see princess sisulu still has that beaver stuck on her head !!

  • Nicholas - 2012-02-27 09:42

    What is the princess going on about? How is Madiba not getting his privacy? The media didn't even know where he was! Even if they did he would never be exposed to the media nor would he ever know they were there! They also say "let the doctors do their work" How is the media not allowing them to do their work?? Are they holding the doctors hostage? Get off your high horses.

  • Julie - 2012-02-27 09:45

    Well, well, listen who is speaking......WHO are the people depriving him of his privacy? WHO are the people in the cars leaving the hospital after Mandela was discharged?

  • busi.carol - 2012-02-27 09:47

    I think the old man should be left alone. To enjoy the peace he never had. He toytoyed, then jailed, then hurled around the world. Let him rest.

      Marion - 2012-02-27 10:33

      Amen to that busi.carol.

  • Johnathon - 2012-02-27 09:52

    Poor delusion Mrs Sisulu. She hopelessly does not understand the world out there. You cannot make someone a world icon, and then beg for the world to ignore the man, when certain situations arise regarding him. I am quite prepared to give Linda Sisulu total privacy and complete isolation though. The country would be more than happy to let her retreat into her bedroom and eat, sleep and read, for the rest of her term in office.

  • Nigel - 2012-02-27 10:02

    why is the minister of defense suddenly Madiba's spokesperson & references to his imprisonment & inference that the media is like prison is just ridiculous.

      Rob - 2012-02-27 10:23

      Tend to agree with you. She also states he spent a big part (on TV she says best half - news24 poor reporting, as usual) of his life as a prisoner. How does 27 years plus one or two equate to a big part (or best half) of his 92 years!!? When one looks at her poor abilities on how she runs her department, one cannot be surprised with her lousy maths.

  • Blignault - 2012-02-27 10:06

    I do not often read the comments by the readers of News24, but I've got to say that most of you sit behind your computers living in a cyber world of fantasy. If you cannot say something decent about someone then keep quiet. Mr. Mandela was and is still a great person. At his age I would like to be media free to enjoy my last days with my loved ones. Reflect on what good you have done for the country then you can make comment. May Mr. Mandela live to be 100 years young!!!!

      Johnathon - 2012-02-27 10:15

      Hi Blig. I would suggest that you live in a cyberworld of fantasy,suggesting that South Africa and the world, all of a sudden just start totally ignoring Mandele, one of the few African statesmen that has gained the worlds respect.

      Marion - 2012-02-27 10:37

      @Thinkertank... no one is saying that he must be 'totally ignored'. There is no need for anyone to go seek out a story. South Africa and the world has been given as much information as we need to know. He is in good health (for a 93-year-old).

      Cracker - 2012-02-27 11:33

      @ Marion With respect, this is where we need a clear understanding. Who is to decide what is "as much information as we need to know?" If this was really an attempt at keeping it a private matter one would not have expected the minister of defense and a government or party political party to give the public the information. This is no more than the usual knee-jerk secrecy mentality taking over and of course to get as much political mileage as possible out of the situation. His PRIVACY was not infringed. As for speculation, well, that you can never avoid or stop. Unless of course you rule a North Korea state or a Zimbabwe outpost. But also only in your area of total control. Speculation in any event does not amount to invasion of privacy. People are curious and speculating creatures. That's how we are and there is nothing wrong with it. It is natural. How do you you stop them from speculating? No matter what news given out, they WILL speculate. This privacy thing has no rational basis. Unfortunately one has grown to distrust what the government and ANC have to tell us. And for very good reasons. Typically they will now use this incident - much of it their own creation - to get at the media. All part of strategy. The more private the ANC can make the high flyers, the thicker the cocoon around some of them grow to protect them against the truth. We can expect to hear a lot more noise around the so-called "privacy" issue as the ANC's plans against the media unfold.

      Marion - 2012-02-27 11:56

      @Cracker - I would think it would be up to his family, no one else, to decide how much information to release. I think the test for this sort of thing should always be 'what would a reasonable man/woman expect/do in a given situation'. You are probably right when you say the government / ANC are just trying to get mileage out of this. That is despicable. I am totally against the secrecy bill, but I don't believe that this falls into the category of anything that would be covered by the secrecy bill. You are right, people speculate. I also speculate. The fact remains that I still believe we were given as much information as we not only need to know, but as much as we have a right to know. Do you believe that the mentality that leads to us believing that public figures belong to us and therefore have no right to privacy in situations like this is acceptable?

      Cracker - 2012-02-27 12:26

      Somewhere a line has to be drawn. Obviously. If the family and the doctors involved were just allowed to use their common sense we would not have had the circus. There was no justification to keep it a secret in which hospital he was. It is silly. It just added to the speculation and made for some childish but yet interesting video material. A public figure is public property. We do not want pumping up of public images of semi-gods like we have seen in some totalitarian states. They and their families must accept that they are open to public scrutiny. Or they would not have been public figures. We are entitled to know a lot about them. Including if they for example pay their servants the minimum wage or hit their spouses or children, how they treat their pets, how faithful they are, etc. And of course their health and the reasons for their bad health. That is how society naturally operates and if somebody does not like it, do your best not to become a public figure.

  • Leko - 2012-02-27 10:16

    Mandela is a public figure; people want to know about his health. He is old and he is going to die 1 day. So there is nothing secret about that. If God decide to end his life, so be it. All we need to do is to pray that God brings him back as ANGEL of ANC. We need an ANGEL to fight corruption in our movement, instill discipline and groom better leaders. We need an ANGEL to sensitize ANC members not re-elect Zuma in Mangaung come December. We need an ANGEL to produce better leaders for ANC.

      Werner - 2012-02-27 10:27

      Nope we need the DA

      Nigel - 2012-02-27 10:33

      I suggest (respectfully) that you consider voting for another movement, the ANC is unfortunately not what it used to be.

      Leko - 2012-02-27 10:35

      That will never happen my friends not now...

      Marion - 2012-02-27 10:43

      @Leko... you have lost me. You consider the ANC to be such a disaster right now that it needs an angel to save it. Then you go on to say that you will never vote for another movement. You get the leaders you deserve because you vote them into power. The voters who vote corrupt politicians into power are almost as guilty as the corrupt officials themselves in my opinion. People should start voting with their heads and feet and not their black, green and gold blood. Then SA may have a chance. Blind allegiance in the face of corruption is sheer ignorance.

      Stephen - 2012-02-27 10:47

      What planet are you on? not earth. Mandela spent all the time in jail to get you a vote, that you dont have the brain to use properly.

      Nigel - 2012-02-27 12:20

      the problem is there is no other decent, credible, black led opposition, not yet anyway ... although the DA is doing very well, I don't think that in its current form it will seriously challenge the ANC. For the next 4 to 8 years I think we will see the ANC support dwindling down to about 50 to 55 %, with more & more voters abstaining rather than voting for another party, only when a prominent & trusted ANC leader joins the DA or starts a new party, will we see the ANC lose its power.

  • epxaba - 2012-02-27 10:19

    @ vusi, I agree with you that the old man was sold us,if you can ask yourself why he was not killed where the likes of Bikos had been murdered, because they knew that they will used him to brainwashed all the freedom fighters as if there are free,they murdered Hani because he was unwilling to collaborate with them when they immplement a strategy to convince us with RDP, free education, water & electricity ect

      msendi - 2012-02-27 10:26

      There is a time in life where you have to say nothing instead of saying something that is worse than saying nothing…

  • mike.bester1 - 2012-02-27 10:25

    Bye bye ,Adios ,Ta-Ta

  • Mbulelo - 2012-02-27 10:29

    The old man is tired, he did what he could for everyone to enjoy a free South Africa...Pity that the ANCorruption has made a mess of his(Along with other great freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives and time) hard work

      Nigel - 2012-02-27 10:34

      yes, you say it like it is.

      Stephen - 2012-02-27 10:37

      It's a pity they couldn't wait till he passed away, before they started looting the place.

  • Shawn Larsen - 2012-02-27 10:39

    A former prisoner deserves privacy? Delicious irony! Mandela's death will mean the end of the Che Guevara t-shirt - every egalitarian will be 'totally fashionable' sporting their 'Madiba' t-shirts...

      Shawn - 2012-02-27 13:17

      @Mgayi - Africans simply don’t possess the organisational prowess to emulate the ‘night of the long knives’ – Should you make good on your threat I wish you all the best. Cretin!

      Nyiks11 - 2012-02-27 13:53

      ah ah you are the one who started with this death talk and meaning thereof . I need not make threaths of any kind , die suiderlanders are a threat to themselves as it is

  • Yolanda - 2012-02-27 10:50

    Madiba deserves a break!

  • Charmain - 2012-02-27 12:10


  • Richard - 2012-02-27 12:15

    I agree with Marion. I grew up as young boy and Mandela was not known to me. I only knew that there was such a person who was an enemy of the state. I was only about 10 years old, what did I know. Many years have passed and lots of water has flown under the bridge. I regret that he did not become President when he was still young. It certainly would have been better than the clowns we had e.g Botha and De Klerk and the Clowns we have now. What is forgotten is that the whites were lied to as much as we are being lied to today. Madiba has become very silent over the last few years and nobody hears his views any longer. Is this by design? Under Madiba we as a nation had a chance for the first time. What we have now is a road to destruction. Zimbabwe here we come. May you give us some bread please. Ok 1 Billion Dollars a loaf.

  • Sariena - 2012-02-27 12:24

    Marion,.Tell me how free are you.

  • Richard - 2012-02-27 12:24

    @ Vusi. You make some valid points. The whites did not do great or shall we limit it to the NP. I think the current Government is also not doing great. TO much focus on theft and corruption and not the people who need it. I propose that the rainbow nation cannot exists due to the actions of our leaders and not the people. The leaders, now and historically, use the people to path their way and from there they do as they please. The Nats were no better. Let the people unite and get rid of these politicians (who cost us far to much anyway) and then maybe we have a chance. I know, idealistic, and not possible to achive, but that gives one perspective on who is at fault here.

  • Hedda-Louise - 2012-02-27 12:45

    Sisulu,please catch a wake-up call....Madiba is a citizen of the world.Of course news channels and the world wants to know what is wrong with him.

  • Marion - 2012-02-27 12:47

    As someone who doesn't agree with blue light conveys except for president and deputy president, I found this paragraph disturbing. "Shortly before the presidency announced on Sunday afternoon that Mandela was to be discharged, a police car followed by a black car and an additional three vehicles with tinted windows and screaming sirens sped off in the direction of 1 Military Hospital." Even conceding that Mr Mandela, as an ex president, is entitled to a blue light convoy, why was it necessary for them to go TO the hospital with screaming sirens etc., He was not in one of the vehicles at the time and they had plenty of time to arrange for the escort vehicles to be there in time to escort him home. To me the trip TO the hospital at high speed is just another abuse of our roads by blue light convoys.

  • emokgojoe - 2012-02-27 12:53

    i wish the media could j ust leave the poor old man alone for goodness sake, hes old and bound to get sick now an d then. Thats what happens to old ppl...aag man leave him be...sis man and go get something important to write about.

  • mdy.chauke - 2012-02-27 12:58

    Wishing the Father of South Africa & of course our continent Africa a speedily recovery, may God add many more years to Mr Mandela like he did with King Hezekiel on the bible for his Godly contribution on earth.

  • Sariena - 2012-02-27 13:05

    Trevor.You just hatched out of the egg.Still full of slime and can't think or read

  • Herman - 2012-02-27 13:32

    Mandela is not a god and should not be treated as one! Do not forget where he came from (the terrorist era that bommed innocent women and children.

      Jack - 2012-02-27 18:07

      and we are still sitting in our prisson homes for his followers murder, hi-jack and steal from us every day.

  • Sariena - 2012-02-27 14:39

    You are right Yolanda.He deserves a break.A neck break

  • Kr0w.the.Nyghtmare - 2012-02-27 18:09

    It seems to me that the people asking the media not to imprison President Mandela are the actual people doing so. I fear the ANC government understands that simply on the aspect of age the end is nearing and they will be losing the last restraint on enacting policies that restore apartheid with the lone difference being who is on top and who is oppressed.

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