Mandela death wish was a misquote, says Jansen

Nelson Mandela. (Gallo)

Nelson Mandela. (Gallo)

According to a report on Monday, Jansen asked a group of about 250 students gathered on the campus for a leadership summit on Sunday: "Don't you also wish he would die?"

Beeld newspaper reported that the students were noticeably shocked when they heard the question.

"Every time we hear he's in hospital, everyone thinks, this is it, he's going to die this time. Big Mac [Maharaj, presidential spokesperson] is lying when he says Madiba is in for check-ups. When you are 94, you go to hospital to die; not for routine tests," Jansen said.

Approached for comment on Sunday evening, his spokesperson, Lacea Loader, said he meant to say that former president Nelson Mandela should be left to die in peace.

Jansen responded to the report on a 567 Cape Talk radio show saying that he was misquoted. According to the station's Twitter account: "Jonathan Jansen says reporter at the leadership summit took his comments out of context."

  • Listen to the interview here

"I truly wish Madiba would live forever. I also wish some journalists would have more ethics before completely distorting a message," Jansen said on Twitter on Sunday.

Mandela was discharged on Saturday after being admitted to a Pretoria hospital on Tuesday to receive treatment for a lung condition.

"Madiba is stable and we are thankful that he is responding well to treatment and that he is much better," President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

Beeld reported that Maharaj was angry when asked for comment.

"I'll think about it carefully. I need to give the matter careful consideration before I comment," said Maharaj. – Sapa



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