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Universal sorry for Madiba obituary

03 April 2013, 14:45

Cape Town – The Universal Channel (DStv 117) apologised for erroneously broadcasting an obituary about the frail elderly statesman Nelson Mandela - entitled Remembering Madiba on Tuesday night.

Universal, which is broadcast on MultiChoice's DStv pay-TV platform, says the feature about Mandela - who is very much alive - was broadcast due to a "technical error".

On Tuesday night viewers reacted with shock when the Universal Channel's broadcast implied that Mandela had passed away.

Universal Networks International says airing the remembrance special was premature but explained that all broadcasters have such programming ready.

'Heartfelt apology'

"Like any international broadcaster, Universal Networks holds obituaries ready for every major statesman in the word," says Universal Networks International, which programmes the Universal Channel on DStv.

"Universal Networks wishes to offer a sincere and heartfelt apology for the airing of such an announcement for Nelson Mandela which was broadcast last night on the Universal Channel due to a technical error by our team.

"We unreservedly apologise to the Mandela family, to Universal Channel viewers and to DStv subscribers for the alarm and offence caused by this error. Our thoughts and best wishes are with Madbia and his family for a speedy and full recovery," says Universal Networks International.

Mandela, 94, is spending his seventh day in a Pretoria hospital for a recurring lung infection but doctors say he is making progress.

Universal Universal logo

- Channel24


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