Madiba statements fuel mistrust

Mistrust between the media and government has been fuelled by misleading statements of Madiba.

Nelson Mandela.

PRETORIA - The Presidency's vagueness on Nelson Mandela's whereabouts and the Defence Ministry's misleading statements have now fuelled mistrust between the media and government.

Madiba was admitted to a private facility on Saturday, contrary to reports that he was being treated at 1 Military Hospital for a lung infection.

The presidency said there was never any intention to mislead the media or the public.

The country's senior editors have met with government to develop a plan and protocols surrounding sharing of information and reporting on Mandela's health.

But it appears this was thrown out the window.

Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj on Friday said he had never said Madiba was at 1 Military Hospital, but he never corrected media reports either.

Eyewitness News group-editor chief Katy Katopodis said: "What has since transpired in the past 12 hours has shown to me a great breakdown in trust."

Maharaj has put the confusion down as a "learning curve".


Maharaj said he had never asked the doctors when Madiba would be released because he did not want to place undue pressure on them.

He said the elder statesman would remain in hospital until medical personnel were satisfied with his recovery.

Eyewitness News understands plans were in place last night to discharge Madiba and transport him to his Houghton home.

These were later abandoned when doctors opted to keep him for another night.

Staff members at the facility where Madiba is being treated said Madiba has received several visitors since being admitted on Saturday.

They include his wife Graca Machel, former president Thabo Mbeki and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.