The ANC has slated DStv for a televised obituary which ran on the Universal Channel on Tuesday (3 April 2013).
On Tuesday evening, Universal Channel ran an obituary titled “Remembering Madiba” which gave users the impression that the former president had passed away.
The ANC responded to the programme, saying it was “shocked and outraged”.
“The African National Congress is shocked and outraged to learn that a DSTV television channel last night televised an obituary of our former president, President Nelson Mandela,” the ANC said in a statement.
“This was uncalled for and totally insensitive on the part of DSTV as President Mandela is alive and receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection, as reported by the Presidency.”
Universal Networks International, which runs the channel on DStv, said that the programme had been prematurely broadcast due to a “technical error”.
Responding to the shocked viewer reaction to the show, the channel issued a “heartfelt” apology to the Mandela family.
“Like any international broadcaster, Universal Networks holds obituaries ready for every major statesman in the word,” the channel said.
“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,” it said.
Despite its anger, the ANC said that it welcomed the apology extended by DStv on the error committed in this regard.