Universal sorry for Madiba obituary

2013-04-03 10:21
Thinus Ferreira
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.


  • BraSteve Myaluze - 2013-04-03 10:46

    So they have obituaries ready for every stateman in the world. Like Hey Zuma has just won an election. Let's prepare his obituary.

      Sheilan.Clarke - 2013-04-03 11:10

      All media houses have had the "RIP Madiba" packages ready for a few years now actually. Enews is one of them.

      Españyol Mpumi - 2013-04-03 11:28

      Do they also have one for Zuma...?

      NickvanGraan - 2013-04-03 11:44

      "Elderly" statesman? at what point do you become old?

      Khanyiso Myataza - 2013-04-03 12:03

      No, they deleted the Zuma one and replaced it with Malema's.

      WILLIAM2012 - 2013-04-03 16:24

      Yes BraSteven, it reads, and i quote!...We can all now rest in peace!!!!

      Koos van der Merwe - 2013-04-04 10:19

      I'd love to see BOB's.

      Shaun Russell - 2013-04-04 13:39

      That would be the country's obituary.

  • Tsebo Kamohelo Hoffman - 2013-04-03 10:46

    If i undastand,these bloody agents hav an orbituary already for the old-timer, meaning ba emetse a shwe. Mxm,may we gt to read theirs first

      Ollie Malherbe - 2013-04-03 21:13

      Mxlish becoming the 12th official language was an April fools joke, so please revert to standard English.

      Jim Amani - 2013-04-04 08:09

      If you think about it, it's not really surprising. Remember, even his own grandson was reported to have sold his burial rights to some television station for a cool 3 bars.

      Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-04-04 08:24

      @Ollie if you dont understand something dont criticise - no one said English was the standard language all 11 languages are equally welcomed

      Ollie Malherbe - 2013-04-04 11:19

      Which one of the eleven is this then?

  • Jacques Kleinhans - 2013-04-03 10:52

    Please proofread articles for errors before publishing...

  • Rohin - 2013-04-03 10:52

    Everybody has their story ready. It's just universal that aired it by mistake. All media, whether online, or paper will have this ready for when the time comes. And when that time comes we should celebrate his life, not mourn his loss. He's an old man, we need to let go.

  • Shaun Morehammered Denovan - 2013-04-03 10:58

    I hope he was watching from his hospital bed lol. What a mind f*#k that would be

      ohbizz.chabata - 2013-04-03 11:48

      hahahaha u are twisted dude

      stirrer.stirrer - 2013-04-03 16:43

      "The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated" - Mark Twain

  • Nomcebo Dlamini - 2013-04-03 11:01

    crazy world we live in. We know he's very old and frail and that it's their work but it does'nt sound nice to know it's already there waiting for his death. I wonder how his family feels.

      Jenny D Lee - 2013-04-07 04:26

      I wonder if they really care

      Jenny D Lee - 2013-04-07 04:26

      I wonder if they really care

  • Mokgadi M Masete - 2013-04-03 11:02

    That grandson of his must have sold the obituary to the channel, he already has a deal for funeral broadcasting rights.

      Jenny D Lee - 2013-04-07 04:25

      Possible, I guess some of the relatives will get rich from insurance policies. The devil is on duty. Money the source of all evil...

  • barry.saunders.180 - 2013-04-03 11:04

    Come on; lets preview Bob's

      procold2 - 2013-04-03 13:48

      Whats there to remember, i think the people would rather forget about bob

  • Quartus van Zyl - 2013-04-03 11:10

    Close down Universal in SA!

      Louise Cook - 2013-04-04 03:14

      Or sue them for damages for the Mandela Children's Foundation. R1m at least!

  • christos 52 - 2013-04-03 11:17

    Apology accepted

  • precious.yumyum - 2013-04-03 11:20

    Apology accepted. It's kinda funny though and i'm sure Madiba would just laugh it off because he has a sense of humour.

      Junior Mahlo - 2013-04-04 13:04

      Sense of humor my foot, how would u feel like if you where in hospital and they televise your obituary....laugh??

      Jenny D Lee - 2013-04-07 04:21

      Let yours be published when you are constantly n we will see if your loved will laugh about it. Death is a joke to haters and morons

  • Stephen Chagadama - 2013-04-03 11:21

    Crazy! They are on the go to make millions from his demise.

      Marcus Vermaak - 2013-04-03 11:38

      Demise? So it would be he's downfall that's going to kill him? Not death in old-age? *facepalm*

      AquilaKaHecate - 2013-04-03 12:21

      @Marcus: Demise is correctly used in the comment above.

      Rohin - 2013-04-03 12:29

      Marcus - definition of demise - Noun A person's death. *facepalm* that

  • Nyika M Ndlovu - 2013-04-03 11:23

    Do you have one for Barack 0bama already?

  • Rre Thuto Mouwane - 2013-04-03 11:25

    Technical error my ass...R.E.S.P.E.C.T the oldman

      Junior Mahlo - 2013-04-04 13:09

      By looking at your dislikes it just shows that this stupid people believe that it was REALLY a "mistake" mxm BS

      Ollie Malherbe - 2013-04-04 20:33

      What would the motive be?

      Rre Thuto Mouwane - 2013-04-06 02:49

      Ineptude for one

  • Sifiso BlackCid Thwala - 2013-04-03 11:27


  • Matome Ray Moshokoa - 2013-04-03 11:32

    .i wonder if theyhave prepared their own obituaries....

      Louise Cook - 2013-04-04 03:06

      I wish them DEAD before they even have time to write it

  • Thando Matanzima - 2013-04-03 11:34

    In an AFRICAN culture when people says u passed away while u still alive, we consider that as a luck. Madiba is still going to be here with us, untill GOD decide not the media or people. LONG LIVE MADIBA, LONG LIVE.

      Koos van der Merwe - 2013-04-04 10:23

      You know, Mandela threatened to open up a branch of the cANCer if he gets to heaven. I think God might have looked down, looked and South Africa, looked at what has happened and decided there and then to make him live to be 250.

  • Nicky Tyrrell - 2013-04-03 11:35

    Monumental blunder! Actually there is no excuse for such a mistake, it is shocking, and in very bad taste.

  • Phivo Georgiades - 2013-04-03 11:37

    Think before you Action & Respect others.

  • ronny.makhubela.98 - 2013-04-03 11:43


  • Ras Thami M - 2013-04-03 11:43

    Do they really...do that was hussein obituary documentary already made or mohammed gaddafi,I'm so appalled that's utterly disgusting by the media,that's wishing death for some1 else

  • ltmodise - 2013-04-03 11:44

    Wow! They say it was a technical error, I wonder how long was that error was showed to the world before they realised it. Eish media

  • Simon Shee - 2013-04-03 11:44

    At least Madiba gets to read his obituary.

  • Morgy Nenzhelele - 2013-04-03 11:46


  • Hilda Ngobeni - 2013-04-03 11:47

    Shameless! Why are people 'killing' Madiba when he's still alive, people can't wait for him to die so they can make a quick buck. I think its disgusting en in bad taste apology or not.

      Lionel De Frontignac - 2013-04-04 03:58

      Exactly; all these guys are preparing these obituaries for themselves and their marketing - the modern world is a very callous, money driven environment.

  • Ndivhu Ramz Ramaru - 2013-04-03 11:50

    M not surprise!dats wat media enjoy

  • Mapsikolosha Ka Mobu - 2013-04-03 12:05

    Bloody agents

  • muziemmanuel.ngidi - 2013-04-03 12:08

    Universal chanel is out of order I mean how can you broadcast an obirtuary of a live person a stalwart and a gallant fighter who fought the liberation of everyone oppressed and the marginalised in the world.... Apology not accepted hahahahahahahahah!

      Jackie Dee - 2013-04-03 19:52

      And a murdering terrorist, dont forget that

  • Ben Rootman - 2013-04-03 12:09

    But "technically" it can then be broadcast at any time? Nonsense! Bad management - surely you wait for an official announcement.

  • Luke Stroebel - 2013-04-03 12:10

    What a bunch of retards. Seriously.. How do you do this. Disgusting.. absolutely brainless disgusting human beings

  • Kaya Dada - 2013-04-03 12:26

    I smell the American media in all of this. They are so eager for Mandela to die for a lucrative story. Its disgusting! Mandela is not the only 94 year old man in this world and he wont die until God decides. Deal with it!

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-03 12:33

    What a universal flop.

  • Alex Lexii - 2013-04-03 12:35

    thats bsh/t american media . They cant wait 2 hear he is late 2 make silly news. I just hate the west

      Jackie Dee - 2013-04-03 19:53

      Get off your western invented computer

      Mapsikolosha Ka Mobu - 2013-04-03 22:04

      Wa hlanya wena Jackie Dee,why don't you go to your western countries then? What are you still doing here?

  • Vusi Matebula - 2013-04-03 12:48

    That was unfair but with the Mandela caliber, things like this are bound to happen

  • Alpheus Nethononda - 2013-04-03 12:53

    I guess your Mugabe one is even corrupted since he ain't dying morons? Or is it lost? Bunch of F,.!?h!. I don't watch your stupid channel anyway. It's a waste of space on my Dstv.

  • David Moloko Manyathela - 2013-04-03 12:59

    That stupid channel need to be prosecuted seriously without any doubt, they breach law enforcement act and broadcasting act

      Jackie Dee - 2013-04-03 19:53

      What, what and what?

      Louise Cook - 2013-04-04 03:02

      Fully agree! Apology NOT accepted!

  • Moses Mgcino Zondi - 2013-04-03 13:01

    This is not good, however all media houses have Obituaries on Tata. The individual who's responsible for putting it out there before checking if the story is not a professional & is disrespectful without a heart at all.

  • Cassandra - 2013-04-03 13:19

    The SA(NC)BC has had for a long while now sworn lots of it's slaves to secrecy re all sorts of preparations it's got ready for when the old man dies. You can prepare to see very little else but ANC propaganda when he kicks it - I'm told on very good authority that SA can expect at least seven days of Mandela, Mandela, Mandela Remember the ANC considers the old man it's private property for it's use only, the rest of SA is fed him by them on the mushroom principle.

  • Percy Zethi D - 2013-04-03 15:49

    Technical error my foot..this is so heartless,inconsiderate and irresponsible to say the least.Are they wishing him dead ? I'd sue the living daylights out of them

  • Gideon Louis Rossouw - 2013-04-03 16:19

    I saw it, 1918 - 2013, etc and it really gave me a turn, and I frantically searched through the news channels, on newspaper web pages, to check. When nothing came up, despite checking about 5 channels and 6 or 7 newspapers I concluded that if it was a fti - fat thumb incident. But they should really be MUCH more careful!!!

  • Marina Millicent Poniatowska - 2013-04-03 17:39

    Sounds like the son who already sold the rights to his father's funeral... A bit premature!

  • Firstseed Mbeva - 2013-04-03 17:56

    Technical error,hahahaha! No ways, of course someone planned and executed

  • Sean Goldie - 2013-04-03 20:16

    His hole in the ground is covered by a tarp just waiting to be used....hope they don't make a technical error there as well....lol

  • Derrick Radebe - 2013-04-03 21:18

    Somebody must be fired for this monumental blunder.

  • Tshepo Seepe Semenya - 2013-04-03 23:06

    RIP Universal. Why?

  • Louise Cook - 2013-04-04 02:58

    It's shocking, callous and nothing short of a disgrace! Such inefficiency shows exactly what type of service any customer can expect from this bunch of fools! It's hugely disrespectful to the old and sick Madiba in hospital who deserves nothing but honour and great care as well as to his family and South Africans and each individual person who viewed the programme. NO apology can ever undo the distatefulness of this so-called "technical error!" Go back to school and hang your heads in shame!

  • Lionel De Frontignac - 2013-04-04 03:56

    This, of course goes to illustrate what a bunch of losers the DSTV crowd are;Too many repeats and poor programme scheduling. Many's the time I've scheduled my PVR for something like say, "Hitler's Rise to power"" or whatever, and when I get to view it, it's something like "The Mating Habits of North Sea clams" - this is why I'm slowly migrating to ADSL and internet TV, where there is much much more!!!

  • Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-04-04 08:26

    Only God knows when will be Madiba's day and as for all of those who are wishing for his death must just be careful not to be theirs first before Madiba's - Long live Tata long live

  • Palesa LEBONA - 2013-04-04 09:09

    Epic fail !

  • Lungi Gaika - 2013-04-04 10:11

    Why an Obituary when one hasn't passed on yet??? Beats me .