Nelson Mandela: Media In Dispute Over Icon's Condition
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Is he or isn’t he on life support?

South African presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj, a close friend and former fellow inmate of the ailing Nelson Mandela,  spent most of the week blasting journalists whom he says have been wrong and unethical in reports of Mandela’s condition.

Late Wednesday, CNN and several other outlets, citing a confidential source, began reporting the 94-year-old Mandela was on life support. Officially, he remains hospitalized and in critical but stable condition for a recurring lung infection.

“I’m not going into any detail by confirming or denying,” Maharaj said, according to the New York Times. “And I’m not going to get into an argument with an unnamed source.”

Maharaj says reporters were unethically contacting doctors, violating patient confidentiality and getting the story flat-out wrong.

Speculation over Mandela’s worsening condition intensified on Wednesday, after President Jacob Zuma canceled his Thursday trip to Mozambique. President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit to South Africa this weekend has also fueled interest in Mandela’s health.

Join the Conversation

Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.