Police dispute Mandela hospital report

2013-06-11 14:33
Messages for Nelson Mandela are pictured outside of his Johannesburg home. (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Messages for Nelson Mandela are pictured outside of his Johannesburg home. (Alexander Joe, AFP)

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Johannesburg - A Sapa news report earlier on Tuesday to the effect that national police had confirmed ailing former president Nelson Mandela was being treated at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria has been dismissed as incorrect.

Brigadier Phuti Setati confirmed in an earlier interview that police stationed at the hospital were part of the presidential protection services team, whose task includes protecting former presidents, but did not specifically confirm that Mandela was in the hospital.

Setati took issue with Sapa for having taken the connection between the two as a confirmation, and reporting it as coming from the police.

"That is incorrect. I did not say former President Mandela is in the hospital... for that information you must approach the presidency; not the police," he said.

Setati said the Sapa news report had embarrassed and compromised the police.

Sapa editor Mark van der Velden confirmed the error had come about in the editing of the original news report and that this was regretted.

"It seemed a logical connection of facts and it's a pity that this has happened in the continuing official vacuum of information confirming whether or not Mandela is in this hospital, but we are happy to set the record straight."
Read more on:    police  |  nelson mandela

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