Don't speculate on Nelson Mandela - ANC

2012-02-25 16:02

Johannesburg -The ruling party on Saturday urged the media to refrain from speculating on the health of former president Nelson Mandela, after he was admitted to hospital.

"If we look at the statement released by the presidency - it does not state that Mandela is going in for surgery. We do not want any speculation," African National Congress spokesperson Keith Khoza said.

"His [Mandela's] admittance was pre-arranged. Mandela was complaining about abdominal pain - now it is a matter that his doctors and specialists will decide on."

Khoza was commenting after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Mandela was "stable" after undergoing surgery.

The BBC quoted unnamed "officials" who said he had spent the night at hospital.

The broadcaster said it "understood" that he had undergone overnight surgery for a hernia.


Earlier on Saturday, presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said he was still waiting for an update on Mandela's health.

"We want to give the specialists time to attend to him first and then they will provide us with a full report that will be presented to President Jacob Zuma," said Maharaj.

"Before he was admitted this morning [Saturday] he was doing well. We have an obligation to the public to keep them informed on Mandela's health and will do so - when we have news.

"We want to handle the matter with due regard to his privacy. We will give you updates as soon as we have any," he said.

Both the Presidency and the ANC wished him a speedy recovery.


In January 2011, following false postings on Twitter that Mandela had died, fellow Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu described the former president as "frail".

Days later, on January 26, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what a Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson described as "routine tests".

It later emerged that Mandela, 93, had suffered from a respiratory infection.

Mandela moved to his home town of Qunu in the Eastern Cape a few days before his 93rd birthday in July last year.

The Presidency announced at the end of January this year that he would be returning back to his Johannesburg home in Houghton because "maintenance has to be undertaken at his Qunu home in the Eastern Cape", according to Maharaj.

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-02-25 16:12

    Well in truth is; Mandela is world news & its expected that the media will run around hoping to be the first with a major scoop!

      christo.stone - 2012-02-25 16:50

      Saddens me...the life of and icon and people just want the "scoop". Quite pathetic of the media... Get well Madiba!

      Sterling - 2012-02-25 17:10

      At Mandela's age when ever he is taken to the hospital there will be speculation. Mandela's family should be speaking for him to the media and not the ANC.

      John - 2012-02-25 17:56

      Media to refrain from speculating.......hahaha Keith Khoza ....."If we look at the statement released by the Presidency - it does not state that Mandela is going in for surgery. ....Your role is to handle the President statement!!! You have enough people to maintain situation from the scene (hospital) Beat them, detain them, ...what you expect when you are not preapred how to handle a press conference. You expected that media will not find at which hospital will be Madiba? Get well Madiba....and as Sterling sugested family might be a better option.

  • Shirley - 2012-02-25 16:26

    Anc: If you want to prevent speculation then you should prevent journalists from being thrown into military police vehicles as this just fuels the interest-What is being hidden!

      John - 2012-02-25 18:23 this joke "...Before HE was admitted this morning [Saturday] HE was doing well..." Okaeeey. Was uncertain that going INTO hospital might not go well? Some People get paid a way too much for what they are not doing or capable of.

  • Jo - 2012-02-25 16:57

    I hope that Mandela is fine however it is so strange that the rest of the world is better informed than us.He underwent sugery and is in a stable condition.

  • Adam - 2012-02-25 17:01

    Do we still have any specialists left here?? I thought they all in Australia

  • Cracker - 2012-02-25 17:02

    Nothing wrong with the media or anyone else speculating. Where is the sin in it? Mandela's family should know the real facts, so they are not being tormented. Mandela himself is definitely not keeping abreast with media reports on his condition. It is plain silly old anti-media sentiment coming to the fore. Something totalitarian about it.

  • Sean - 2012-02-25 17:11

    The report on Skynews said Mandela was being treated for 'a long standing abdominal complaint'so I speculate bowel cancer then.Or is that too much of a speculation(LOL)?

  • Bongany - 2012-02-25 17:59

    get well tata Rolihlahla

  • Helmut - 2012-02-25 18:01

    I can speculate as much as i like.He is not anc property,there care only of how much milage to get out of it.Hope you get better soon

  • Charmaine - 2012-02-25 18:52

    Madiba does not belong to the ANC, He belongs to God, Get well soon Madiba.

  • Morne - 2012-02-25 22:09

    I agree with the ANC! Give Mr. Mandela some space and let him be, with those who matters the most in his life, especially your family when you are at in this time of age! He has done more than his duty!, not just for SA, but also for the world!

  • Thabo - 2012-02-26 01:10

    Openness is a renown remedy to stop malacious speculation! Get well soon Tata!!!

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