MultiChoice starts DStv Madiba tribute channel

2013-12-06 11:22
By Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – South African television and the country’s TV industry reacted swiftly in the late hours of Thursday night following the death of Nelson Mandela with MultiChoice going live with a special Nelson Mandela tribute channel on DStv and broadcaster’s jumping with rolling news coverage and on-air specials.

Although the SABC has not communicated anything – neither a public statement, nor any preliminary statements regarding programming – MultiChoice went live in the very early hours of Friday morning with a Nelson Mandela event channel on channel 199 which will provide rolling documentaries and special programmes as a tribute to him. In conjunction with the channel, MultiChoice went live with a special site  where people can leave special tributes.

The department of communication cancelled a scheduled press briefing set for Friday to update South Africa and the industry about the progress with digital terrestrial television (DTT), as the SABC,, eNCA, M-Net, SuperSport and MultiChoice summoned workers to work while many already working dug in for all-night, late night shifts.

M-Net will roll out a special live Carte Blanche episode on Friday evening at 19:30 looking at previous profiles and interviews with Nelson Mandela as a tribute to him. The Sunday episode’s line-up is also being changed. “He came to Carte Blanche and he lit up our world every time we had the privilege of interviewing him," said George Mazarakis, the executive producer of Carte Blanche.

The M-Net and M-Net Movies Premiere channels are changing Sunday night’s movies. All the M-Net channel logos on all M-Net channels, SuperSport and M-Net Series channels went black in mourning. switched to live, rolling news coverage using the feed of sister channel eNCA, and special programming started on Channel O, Mzansi Magic with more planned for these channels as well as kykNET.

TV critics are giving rave reviews and already praising South Africa’s Robyn Curnow, CNN International’s (DStv 401) South African correspondent for her instant and ongoing brilliant on-air coverage, insight and analysis. Robyn Curnow took to the air on Thursday night and kept going for multiple hours on-air with exceptional news coverage following Nelson Mandela’s death.

Farewell, Tata Madiba

"It is a sad day for the MultiChoice family and for our nation," said Nolo Letele, MultiChoice's executive chairperson. "The loss of our beloved Tata Madiba will be felt for a very long time. Tata's contribution to our country has been immeasurable and his teachings will always be a part of us - leading us towards a better future."

"M-Net mourns the passing of one of Africa's greatest sons. Hamba Kahle, Madiba!" said M-Net in an on-air scroll. “As a nation we owe so much to this one man it is hard to imagine South Africa without Nelson Mandela. He was a model of ethical conduct and humility whose memory we can honour by remembering the lessons he taught us. Farewell, Tata Madiba.”

" and eNCA extends deepest condolences to family, friends, fellow South Africans and the world for the passing of former South African president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela," said in a statement.

" and eNCA regular programming changes in light of the passing of Nelson Mandela. and eNCA as channels are going with rolling 24-hour news coverage. This will include reports directly from all events and proceedings; the news will be interspersed with interviews with family, friends, business leaders, politicians and ordinary citizens.”

The SABC has yet to release a statement, or communicate programming details.


  • Tshenolo Tshenkeng - 2013-12-06 11:41

    Woah they react fast. Must have been all planned for weeks. All about operation "bird has left the nest".

  • Annelise van der Laan - 2013-12-06 21:41

    Well done Multichoice, DStv and MNet on your dignified approach on this sad day. The absence of advertising on Channel 101 and the outpouring of tributes in lieu of the advertising space is commendable. Thank you to Multichoice and to all the advertisers in foregoing the scheduled Ads to bring us a celebration of Madiba, his life and his legacy. Annelise van der Laan, Pretoria.

  • Nancy Ncube - 2013-12-07 17:10

    We really are an amazing nation. Since the passing of our beloved Tata, the mood in my neck of the woods has been inspired. Everyone seems to be re-acknowledging the spirit of Ubuntu, being little kinder to one another and probably moving closer towards what Madiba wished for us all! THANK YOU DSTV FOR DARKENING YOUR LOGO DURING THIS NATION's MOURNING PERIOD. VERY THOUGHTFUL!! He surely must be smiling on all of us

  • Ravi Lee David - 2013-12-07 19:33

    Hi my name is Ravi Lee David my heartveld condolences go out 2 the Madela family thnks 2 Tata Madiba I'm were I am he brought freedom to us wen it ws impossible I say accept 4 the Lord Jesus 1 cn compare Tata Madiba as God in disguise & truly he brought forth Godlyness Peace b upon u Hamba Kahle Tata

      Maki Masuku - 2013-12-08 23:00

      As am listen to all different massages about U Tata.I realise how much I loved brought back all the realties on why we here today,He once mentioned that the new south African youth should grow in A very relaxed environment.only if they could see it.May his Soul Rest In Peace.and His Spirit Live Long in South Africa. till we achieve what he wished for this country.VIVA MADIBA Rolihlahla Mandela . Viva.

  • James Brown - 2013-12-10 10:19

    Tribute to Madiba Painted a rainbow from your cell Hard labour in a living hell You fought for peace and liberty Endured to set all people free If there ever was a man to change the world Madiba it was you Then came the day of your release Instead of war you spoke of peace You reached out to your jailer’s hand For all the world a righteous man Now the world has lost the son who could not hate Who taught us how to love How to cry How to live our lives Your legacy is hard to bear The road to freedom isn’t clear The world will always need a man Like you Madiba with your plan Now the world has lost the son who could not hate Who taught us how to love How to cry How to live our lives

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