Presidency unapologetic over Mandela

2012-12-13 22:26

Cape Town - The presidency on Thursday insisted that Nelson Mandela's privacy is of the utmost importance, after reports emerged that the former president was no longer being treated at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.

In a statement late on Thursday, presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj maintained that right from the start, no mention was made of the specific hospital where Mandela was being treated, to ensure privacy.

"President Mandela is being treated at a Pretoria hospital as said from the first statement we issued.

"We have refrained from disclosing the hospital in order to ensure privacy and also to allow doctors space to do their work of caring for Madiba without interruptions or undue pressure.

"Madiba is being treated for a lung infection and is well-looked after by a competent medical team."

While we understand the interest in the story, we urge the media to respect the former president's privacy, Maharaj said.

Earlier on Thursday, Eye Witness News (EWN) reported ithat Mandela was not at 1 Military, but "has decided not to name the Pretoria hospital in a bid to protect Madiba's privacy".

EWN said it had spotted several black military police vehicles with their unmistakable yellow license plates parked at the facility (where Mandela is).

Staff confirmed that Madiba had been treated at the 1 Military Hospital but said they were sworn to secrecy, EWN said.

They did let slip that former president Thabo Mbeki has paid a visit and well as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the report said.

A large contingent of journalists from local and international media have been camping outside the 1 Military Hospital since Saturday.

On Monday Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula stopped to speak to journalists outside 1 Military Hospital.

"He's doing very, very well," the minister said in brief comments. "And it is important to keep him in our prayers and also to be as calm as possible and not cause a state of panic because I think that is not what all of us need."

The former president, 94, was hospitalised at the weekend. He was flown from his home in Qunu, Eastern Cape, on Saturday, to a Pretoria facility.

The presidency said he was suffering from the recurrence of a previous lung infection and was responding to treatment.

The hospital is part of the Thaba Tshwane Military Base, a national security zone.

Soldiers were manning the hospital's main entrance, using plastic cones to control the movement of vehicles.

Every vehicle entering the premises was being inspected.

Mandela's current stay in the hospital has become his longest continuous period in hospital since 2001, when he underwent seven weeks of radiotherapy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He was 83 at the time.

In January 2011, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection. He had contracted tuberculosis while in prison.

Mandela is revered for being a leader of the struggle against racist white rule in South Africa, and for preaching reconciliation once he emerged from prison in 1990, after 27 years behind bars.

He served one five-year term as president before retiring from public life.

  • joanne.duplooy.5 - 2012-12-13 22:36

    Is Madiba still alive? Surely the ANC is not so selfish as to keep his death a secret until after the elections? The truth will come out eventually

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-12-14 09:22

      I think they lost him and now they are running around trying to find him... or... Some government official sold Madiba to a Japanese collector... Or -and this is more realistic: They enjoy lying to the public.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-12-13 22:39

    Mac, can't you grasp that lies and deceit are EXACTLY the things that encourage the very "privacy-infringing" speculation you claim to seek to avoid?

  • Erna - 2012-12-13 22:42

    Deceiving people comes naturally to the anc.

      freddie.miff - 2012-12-14 09:36

      Shock, horror... Mac Maharaj and the ANC lied to the public... again. Like that hasn't happened before, and won't again, very soon and often.

  • luviwe.jay - 2012-12-13 22:56

    Mfim, lying comes nsturally with these people. I lost faith in them long ago.

  • sheik.mohammad.378 - 2012-12-13 23:03

    Is it only me who doesn't care?

  • RudiErnst - 2012-12-13 23:26

    I am no fan of the ANC, but if they did not confirm he was being treated at Military 1 and they were trying to protect a private citizen's privacy, I don't see anything wrong with that. While the passing of Mandela as a statesman should be reported on truthfully... let an old dude have his privacy. Individual privacy outweighs public interest at this stage.

      Onke.Dali - 2012-12-14 07:06

      At last, someone with brains. We all hate Maharaj and everything that comes from the presidency but that doesn't mean we should disrespect Neslon Mandela and his family's right to privacy.

      godfried.kruger.9 - 2012-12-14 07:24

      Exactly he and his family do need privacy in times like this.

      wonky.donky.589 - 2012-12-14 08:34

      Sure.... let the "Old Dude" have his privacy from people being around him etc, but the man is a worldwide icon and hero. At least let the people who care for him be updated via news regarding his condition. His status comes with the territory. If it’s his privacy they are respecting then why do they allow those bafoon ministers see him? He is probably in hospital after hearing about his dreams crumbling at the hands of the ANC, the last thing he needs is ANC Ministers visiting him. I wish him well………………….

  • 4tops - 2012-12-13 23:32

    I think all this privacy stuff will disapear after the Mangaung conference...they need this calm before the storm...

  • hapotter - 2012-12-13 23:51

    4 numbers? 2 0 1 2

  • lynn.syme.1 - 2012-12-14 00:36

    I think he is dead. (no disrespect) They dont want the country going into national mourning just before the ANC leadership election. The show must go on.

      Erna - 2012-12-14 04:15

      I don't that even the lying anc would go that far.

      MagdaKus - 2012-12-14 07:15

      How would that disadvantage that election? If anything it would draw media attention away from it- and the party doesn't seem happy with all the media focus on the squabbling...

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-14 08:40

      Yeah we (the ANC) don't want to dampen the Manguang limelight with news of Mnadela's death. We are very unapologetic about that

      75sibusisomhlongo - 2012-12-14 14:04

      is that what u wish "madam"? don't worry he will pass on one day just like everybody else will but not when u wish for him to, only when God calls him.

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-12-15 00:57

      National mourning ? Is mourning a euphemism for mass affirmative shopping with a touch of violence and looting thrown in I wonder?

  • marc.vaneldonk - 2012-12-14 03:05

    If the news would be positive, they would air it straight away. Now, the people at the top are compromised. They are in a situation, where they don't know what decision to make. It is incredible, that a nation is so unstable, that there is nobody who dares to make a straight forward statement.

      MagdaKus - 2012-12-14 07:17

      How can the state of Madiba's health reflect in any way on the ANC? They can in no way take credit or blame for it?

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-14 08:41

      Zuma is first applying his mind, and that usually takes a while

  • Shuraigh Meyer - 2012-12-14 03:05

    i am a child of the new South Africa, luckily for all the history classes we had in primary school, all of us born into freedom got to learn about how all our parents including 'oupa diba' fought for what we now have today. Nelson Mandela was A Hero and still today is, so let us rather not fight about everything(like we always do) and think about what he would have wanted for all of us, the day he lied down to rest. I believe he would have reminded us about where we were and that when he leaves he would want us to remember the day he won us our freedom. the joy,happiness, euphoria, excitement and achievement we all attained. So let us start to say goodbye to a true legend and fighter of the people and give our children the freedom he imagined for them. A South Africa were their is no color nor race, no right nor wrong but the just and equality amongst all. I don't care about politics, but I will care for a fellow South African. We love you Mr. Madiba May you rest in peace.

      marc.vaneldonk - 2012-12-14 03:30

      great to read your speech, but ....... freedom is not for free. It carries a lot of responsabilities. Now, with your freedom it is your decision to do, what you want to do with your life. That also means, you cannot blame somebody else, if you mess it up. Madiba has fought for his freedom. To many take it for granted today. To many blame it on somebody else, if they dont get what they want. etc. etc. So .... take your responsabilities.

      Erna - 2012-12-14 04:12

      Shuraigh - who asked you to write Mandela's eulogy?

      MagdaKus - 2012-12-14 07:19

      Erna- probably a slip of the mouse- relax.

      derek.edwards.75491 - 2012-12-14 11:25

      In all these history lessons did they tell you of the bombing of shopping center's or the ambush of busses with ak 47s randomly killing innocent men women and children. Or of torture camps like camp Quattro or of the death by necklacing to any one who disagreed with the anc.? Sorry but I think that if you know of all these atrocities and still look up to these people as heroes you are a little warped.

  • rocky.bell.98 - 2012-12-14 03:23

    This is becoming a farce "of vast proportions" and one can imagine the circus the day mandela dies. Jesters of note.

  • mshiniboys - 2012-12-14 04:19

    'he is doing very very well' but still in hospital?

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-14 08:54

      Yip....very very VERY WELL....

  • jaap.kotze - 2012-12-14 06:01

    All this, making them feel, oh-so important! Like the blue light convoys and all the other exravagances! Whilst inheritly inferior. Idiots!!

      rocky.bell.98 - 2012-12-14 06:24

      Ja, the importance of being important.

  • faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-12-14 06:08

    He is dead already, in the plane crash the other day. It will be announced after the ANC conference

      godfried.kruger.9 - 2012-12-14 07:27

      Are you ok ?

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-14 08:20

      Take your head out of your behind shabalala

  • zwivhuyamufamadi - 2012-12-14 06:33

    The truth is we all gna die including Mandela. Y do we have to wory? Ppl die every day.

  • Erna - 2012-12-14 06:46

    I can just imagine those old biddies in the anc cackling and laughing on how they fooled the media.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-12-14 16:20


  • nspaynter - 2012-12-14 06:48

    I am very, very uncomfortable about the way the Presidency is handling this and other cases. It reminds me of communism. We will only tell you what you need to know. It's canned and artificial. A possible theory is that Madiba has already passed on and it's rather inconvenient with the elective conference about to take place. So let the conference take the stage for the moment and when that is over Madiba's death will be conveniently announced.

  • Danie Gerber - 2012-12-14 06:58

    I think Mandela is either dying or already dead.

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-12-14 07:11

    Whats new...THEY lie not every day..but ALL the time

      trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-12-14 07:16

      SHE (wife) did mention the other day...(his flame is fading/gone) is he "dead"...... must we read between these lines????

      johnny.better.12 - 2012-12-14 09:42

      How do you know when the cANCer is lying ? When the lips move, they lie !!!

      alex.marshall.944023 - 2012-12-14 18:59

      The presidency is unapologetic over anything.

  • charl.malan.12 - 2012-12-14 07:18

    The ANC and their privacy and Mac Maharaj, when he is involved, you know something fishy is going on! This whole debacle is deflecting from the top six ANC big wigs doing any work, now they can jet around the country doing less then usual, god they make me sick!

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-12-14 07:55

    yawn . . . zzzzzzzz

  • ???? - 2012-12-14 08:32

    Geez!!! Can't the guy get his privacy? not everything about him has to be made public you know. And tone down on the hate. Why should everything be a conspiracy by the ANC? Cut them some slack.

  • jackitribe - 2012-12-14 08:55

    It has just been proven that we cannot believe a word the ANC says...... As soon as Mac opens his mouth he is telling stories....

  • nawhal.majietarmien - 2012-12-14 09:00

    I have to get this rite, he was at an all together different hospital, than 1 military?, he wants his privacy?, he didn't want privacy when he was jailed for 27 years, he wanted the world to know. he is old, he is sick, people revere him, honesty is the best policy, in private and the public,

  • margaret.ramasela - 2012-12-14 09:21

    Mandela is an icon and it is known world wide, no one can change this fact. and we blacks must thank God for he gave us the hearts that can forgive and forget. Tata Mandela we will always love you.

  • derek.edwards.75491 - 2012-12-14 10:38

    "There is many a cause for which I am prepared to die but none for which I am prepared to kill." "The end justified the means." One of these statements was made by peace loving statesman the other by a murdering terrorist

  • gladness - 2012-12-14 11:47

    That mandela woman went to visit. Better check her bag when she leaves, as she is a convicted criminal, fraudster and liar and thief.

  • niel.phillips.7 - 2012-12-14 16:22

    typical, they tell us every time jz licks his lips but cannot inform us of this icon

  • kg.muroa - 2012-12-14 16:36

    media should respect the privacy of our president

  • bossie.boshoff.31 - 2012-12-14 16:53

    We were aware since Monday that Mr Mandela is NOT at 1 Military hospital where he was supposed to be receiving treatment. Although I hate to think what this little ruse cost the people that still pay taxes, I cannot but ask- was it nearly necessary? A genuine and serious request to not inconvenience the great man and his family to the media and well wishers, would to my mind have achieved what has now become just another ANC lie team's bungle up of this occurrence. Is there even the remotest chance that the roleplayers (Ministers,VIP's even Mrs Machell/Mandela) in this "scam" will acknowlege the error of their ways? Fat chance. Bossie

  • Modikoe.Elias.Ramongana - 2012-12-14 16:59

    The old man himself believes in transparancy,his wish is to c every one around the world sitting nxt to his hospital bed wishing him a speedy recovery. Maharaj if he was to die,would u stop death to Rob us Mdala(Mandela)?There'r ppl who wants to pray with him,that man is the world most rated. Give us a chance to be with him,B4 its late.

  • chris.jikijela.1 - 2012-12-14 18:44


  • blip.noodlum - 2012-12-15 00:02

    Why is he is a specialised HEART hospital when he has a LUNG infection?

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-12-15 00:29

    For once I agree with the ANC. The man is old and deserves his privacy and if the State has resorted to subterfuge in order to achieve that well so be it. Let poor old Mandela be treated in peace.

  • mahlekafmp - 2012-12-15 04:52

    Maharaj you must shut up,instead of lying to the world, Tata Madiba wishing you spead recovery

  • john.ferreira.1213 - 2012-12-15 14:18

    No disrespect to the old man, but has he not reached his sell buy date? Everybody has to go sooner or later, BUT are they ready to go? Just remember the word URUHU when he does pass on.

  • christopher.nxumalo1 - 2012-12-17 16:54

    derek edwards DEREK, you are talking rubbish.You are nothing but a racist.Were you sleeping when the apartheid regime was busy killing thousands of innocent black south africans? GO to Australia, you idiot.

      albert.maseko1 - 2012-12-27 22:34

      Our hero we wish you speedy recovery father of the nation

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