News agencies probed over Mandela cameras

2011-12-15 22:32

Johannesburg - Police on Thursday opened an investigation after two international news agencies set up surveillance cameras outside Nelson Mandela's home at Qunu.

Police declined to name the media outlets, but Britain-based Reuters and US news agency the Associated Press (AP) both confirmed they had set up cameras outside the ex-president's home.

Spokesperson Vish Naidoo said they could face criminal charges for violating a law that restricts access to sensitive areas.

Police removed at least two cameras from a house neighbouring Mandela's home on Monday.

Times newspaper said the CCTV cameras had been installed possibly six years ago.

"We did have a camera and it has been removed," Reuters spokesperson Joanne Crosby told AFP. She declined to comment further.

Not spying

"The cameras were positioned some time ago, with the knowledge of authorities. The cameras are not turned on. They are not spying on Mr Mandela's home," AP spokesperson Paul Colford said in an email to AFP.

"They are part of the preparedness that AP and other large news organisations customarily make in the event of a major news story involving a former world leader."

Anti-apartheid icon Mandela returned to his rural home in June after being discharged from hospital in January for an acute respiratory infection.

The frail 93-year-old's health has sparked intense national and international media attention.

His last public appearance was during the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg, where he was wheeled in and waved joyfully to the crowd.

2 cameras seized

"So far we've managed to recover two cameras in a house in the village not far from Mr Mandela's house," police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela told AFP erlier.

"The cameras were put there without the knowledge of his family or the authorities."

Mandela was elected South Africa's first black president in 1994 and served one term before stepping down in 1999.

  • marybailey6769 - 2011-12-16 00:17

    they been watching us blacks for years,waiting for us to do wrong,while the others are doing wrong,they are missing it,because,they are too hopeful, that they will catch us, Lord have Mercy on these evil people soul's and their families as well.

      John - 2011-12-16 03:13

      Mary, you wouldn't be trying to throw the old boring race card thing again would you, because if you are go GET A LIFE!!!. What you must remember is that Madiba is a world icon and statesman extraordinaire, of course every news corporation in the world wants to get a "scoop" if anything interesting happens in Qunu. After all I don't think Madiba has done anything underhand at this stage of his life to warrant spying on, not like the criminals running the country now. Madiba is the glue that is holding this nation together, what's left of it.

      Silvana - 2011-12-16 04:11

      @Mary. Do you play the guitar while you sing this golden oldie?

      danie.dewaal - 2011-12-16 07:33

      This is rubbish. I do not think that anyone in the world is waiting for an icon like Mandela to do something wrong. I think the opposite is true, everyone watches Mandela for inspiration.

      John - 2011-12-16 08:02

      Another great wisdom garnished with "Lord have Mercy". Mary you can't just copy and paste from this book, without reading it compleatly. This book is too big for you and I'll suggest a compleate reading without interference. For all of us that we know from where those words are (don't Google it - is not there and this is not a Chris Rock commedy show)...we woldn't use them to comment cameras around Qunu and Madiba. Media wants to be around this great man. Like ThailandJohn said...he is the glue. The only one that holds this nation together.

  • Max - 2011-12-16 06:15

    The ANC's propaganda machine has blown up Mandela's image to iconic proportions. His publicity was fine when it suited them, now it is back fireing, live with it.

      Vegi - 2011-12-16 07:15

      So you condone the breaking of the law by these News Vultures?

      John - 2011-12-16 08:20

      Veqi, from where you getting this "breaking the law"? Are you sure that you read the article compleatly?

  • Vegi - 2011-12-16 06:58

    I agree with you Mary. These people always expect wrong from us yet they are the ones who imported all the wrongs that were never witnessed in these lands before. Then they complain when they are at the receiving end of the evils they invented. Wrongdoing is not our way of life. Our way of life is peaceful co-existence and harmony.

      John - 2011-12-16 08:30

      Peaceful co-existence? Xenophobic attacks in May 2009 against immigrants from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique living in Alexandra? Can i remind you 21st of May 2009, the President Thabo Mbeki approval for SAPS deployment of armed forces against the attacks in Gauteng?...Veqi, go to Autotrader....

  • Vegi - 2011-12-16 07:06

    The evil of profiting on the misery of others is unknown to us. It is an imported concept like most evils we experience today. These News Vultures are hoping to rake in billions by airing the breaking news of Mr Mandela's passing. While we mourn these evil people will be rejoicing and laughing all the way to the bank. I hope they pay for this indignity.

      Lara - 2011-12-16 08:16

      What is 'interlectually'? R and L far apart on the keyboard, so no typo.

      Vegi - 2011-12-16 08:49

      Lara, what the hell are you talking about?

      Lara - 2011-12-16 09:10

      Don't expect you to understand. An intellectual would surely know how to spell 'intellectual'. Besides, what the hell do you know about integrity?

      John - 2011-12-16 09:12

      Veqi, The world knew about Mandela becouse of the mass media or I'm missing sommething here. I told you that you come to the wrong website.

      Vegi - 2011-12-16 09:44

      Lara Did I talk about any intellectual? Are you still high on your Whoonga breakfast?

      Vegi - 2011-12-16 09:47

      John The crime is the one of spying on a sensetive area. I am on the right article.

  • acsteyn - 2011-12-16 07:06

    It is sitting in a fence like preying vultures waiting the calf to fraw it's last breath and then it is time to feast. I have cancelled my subscription to all Reuters information and web-sites. Perhaps it means nothing to them. But, you know it does rekindle memories of the destructive natue of these animals that revel in the name of the paparazzi. Princess Diana comes to mind?

      John - 2011-12-16 09:03

      Nope acsteyn, but brings the memory of 31st of August 1997 a car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris where Diana, Princes of Wales and Dodi Fayed died. Diana, Princes of Wales was pregnant from Dodi the son of Mohamed Al-Fayed. Princess of Wales had died as a result of an accident, the conspiracy theories persistently raised by Mohammed al-Fayed and the Daily Express suggested that she was assassinated. What Reuters subscription you refering acsteyn You don't even know how many Reuters pictures you facing every day. What exactly you cancel?

  • John - 2011-12-16 09:56

    It's easy to forget 1960's when AP and Reuters was publishing pictures of Nelson Mandela. Well Done South Africa, place criminal charges against them. Is that what you giving them as return?

  • Grant - 2011-12-16 19:42

    If I complained about CCTV cameras in my neighourhood would the police do anything about it? This has everything to do with the R3 million deal between SABC and Mandela's son.

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