Mandela Family in Deal with CNN over Funeral Coverage?

Mandela family and media
As South Africa – and the world – anticipates the funeral of Nelson Mandela, who is – allegedly – still in critical condition in a Pretoria hospital, the latest question being asked by everyone in South Africa is: Did the Mandela family strike a deal with CNN over coverage of Mandela’s funeral?

According to a report on the South African Independent Online (IOL News) website, there is already in place an arrangement, whereby the state-run South African Broadcasting Company (SABC) will be the only media organization to have television cameras at the funeral and that it will provide live footage of the event to the worldwide media, free of charge.

According to SABC executives, members of the Mandela family had a secret meeting at the end of last month with representatives of both the state broadcaster and the South African President Jacob Zuma’s office. According to the Sunday Independent, officials who attended this meeting claimed that the Mandela family demanded “preferential” access to the funeral proceedings for CNN. One of the unidentified officials who spoke with the Sunday Independent is reported to have said “This wasn’t a request. It was a demand. The CNN deal seems to be done and dusted.”

Makaziwe Mandela, one of the former President’s daughters, was unhappy that news of what was discussed at the meeting had been leaked. “Unless you tell me who told you this, I’m not going to confirm anything,” she said during a conversation with the Sunday Independent, “Tell me which of them it was,” she demanded, referring to the officials who had attended the meeting. “That was a confidential meeting and it should not be talked about.” The Sunday Independent refused her request and did not identify its sources.

CNN’s Johannesburg bureau has denied any knowledge of a deal, as has Phumla Williams, acting head of the Government Communication Information Systems (GCIS).

Other than the question of whether or not the Mandela family has made a deal with CNN over coverage of the funeral, a more interesting question is why such a meeting was held at all. The Las Vegas Guardian Express reported June 26th that Nelson Mandela had passed away the previous evening. The publication had received this information from a source very close to events in South Africa.

Official word out of South Africa is that the hero of the anti-Apartheid struggle remains in critical, but stable, condition and on life support in Pretoria’s Mediclinic Heart Hospital. On the evening of June 25th, the Mandela family had been joined by Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at Mandela’s hospital bedside. The Mandela family, along with South African President Jacob Zuma, have constantly urged South Africans to pray for Mandela’s recovery. The revelation that a meeting took place to discuss media coverage of the funeral appears to prove – beyond doubt – that Zuma, along with Mandela’s relatives,  knew that no such recovery was going to occur.

Mandela himself has been seen by no-one – other than, reportedly, the President and family members – since the day the Las Vegas Guardian Express reported his death. Indeed, he has not been seen in public for some time prior to that.

Makaziwe Mandela has previously been vocal in her criticism of the international media; describing them as “racist” and “vultures”. The irony of her alleged deal with CNN over funeral coverage was not lost on IOL News.

Graham J Noble



One Response to Mandela Family in Deal with CNN over Funeral Coverage?

  1. Matthew July 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    This writer must be one of those freelance people they pay $500 a month for as many articles they can churn out as possible, on whatever topic they feel like, from as many dodgy internet sources as they can find. The sad thing is that someone higher up probably edits them and decides to publish them eventually.


We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Phoenix Suns Playoff Hopes Ends With Promising Future April 16, 2014
    A year ago, the Phoenix Suns had the worst record in the Western Conference and the fourth worst record in the entire NBA. As a result, not many expected them to have a good season. As a result, the Suns  put in a solid season showcasing they have a promising future, but unfortunately their playoff […]
    Simon Mounsey
  • Is Ebola Virus Getting Under Control? April 16, 2014
    Health experts report that deaths from the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa are slowing, which is a sign that the latest outbreak of the deadly virus may finally be getting under control. The current outbreak has killed more than 120 people and, unlike previous outbreaks, has spread beyond the forested rural villages into a […]
    Dyanne Weiss
  • Ukraine and the Spillover Effect April 16, 2014
    Worries over Ukraine tend to focus on the very immediate concerns of the conflict. These include potential economic downturns, the increasing influence of Russia in the world, and most obviously, the potential for Ukraine to be invaded aggressively by Russia, among many others. However, these concerns are part of what should be greater worries about […]
    Brett Byers-Lane
  • 100 Schoolgirls Kidnapped by Terrorists: Nigeria April 16, 2014
    Boko Haram Islamist group entered a government secondary school in Nigeria heavily armed, in a night raid and abducted more than 100 schoolgirls. Boko Haram Islamists are a known affiliate of al Qaeda militants in the Sahara. The group has made no statement as of yet after the terrorists kidnapped the 100 schoolgirls. Boko Haram, […]
    Jabar Morarend
  • Clemson Kicks Nephew of NFL Great Jim Kelly off Team April 16, 2014
    Clemson University head coach Dabo Swinney has kicked redshirt sophomore quarterback Chad Kelly, the nephew of former NFL great Jim Kelly, off the team for conduct issues, Swinney announced Monday. According to reports, Kelly has exhibited a pattern of behavior inconsistent with the aim of the Clemson program. The departure of star quarterback Tajh Boyd […]
    Rick Sarlat

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 630 other subscribers