The Mandela family has allegedly negotiated a deal with CNN regarding Nelson Mandela’s eventual funeral, even though an earlier agreement gives preferential access to the SABC, a South African broadcaster.
According to South African press, Makaziwe Mandela and her niece Ndileka met with officials from the national broadcaster and a delegate from the Presidency to discuss coverage of the Mandela funeral, of which the SABC is supposed to be the official broadcaster.
Sources from the meeting, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Sunday Independent that the Mandelas demanded that American broadcaster CNN be given “preferential” access and status. Up until now, there has been a longstanding agreement among broadcasters that the SABC would be given preferential access, but would provide free live coverage to the rest of the world.
The Sunday Independent quoted one of the sources as saying: “There appears to be little we can do, as the family appears to have their own plans.”
Another source claimed that the CNN deal appears to be “done and dusted” and that the Mandelas were not making a request, but rather a demand. It is not clear whether the Mandela family would benefit from the arrangement.
The bureau chief for CNN in Johannesburg, Kim Noorgard, has, however, denied any knowledge of the alleged deal. Makaziwe Mandela refused to comment on the allegations after The Sunday Independent refused to give up the names of its SABC sources.