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Thursday 20 June 2013

University of Witwatersrand publishes Nelson Mandela Obituary...

Article by Marc Aupiais

The University took to social networking to apologise profusely, for what they called a technical error, blaming Google search for picking up an unpublished piece. It had accidentally pre-empted the death of former convict of Robbin Island maximum security prison, and one time President Nelson Mandela.


The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg extends its sincerest apologies to the family members, friends, fellow South Africans and global citizens for an obituary related to the death of former president Nelson Mandela that was not published or issued by the University.

The University had prepared a statement which was hidden on its systems. However, a technical error made this available via the search function on Google. At no stage did the University issue this statement or publish it on its website.

The University regrets the mishap and will take all the necessary steps to get to the root of the technical error and to ensure that the responsible departments are held accountable for this incident.

Here, from ENCA: is their cause for apologising:

'In the message dated 31 July 2013, the university “expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, his comrades, to those who knew him well, to our fellow South Africans, to our staff, students and alumni, and to every global citizen that he touched through his thoughts, words, character, actions, presence and being.”
It goes on to say, “He was of us, but not ours as he belonged to citizens around the world. Not only has he transformed our lives, but also those of generations to come. Mandela’s unrivalled standing as a leader has been won by indomitable courage in the service of principle and in his striving for freedom, justice, democracy and equality. For liberty in this country, Mandela has never flinched to sacrifice his own; nor himself.”
It adds, “Madiba, the father of our nation, was Wits University’s most illustrious student and alumnus. He blessed us with his presence over the years as a student, a politician, an activist, as an Honorary graduate, as a President, a guest and as a friend of the University.
"We were blessed to have him in our midst and we – all Witsies, all South Africans, all Africans and indeed all of humanity must continue to uphold the ideals for which he lived, and those for which he was prepared to die.”
The university also mentioned an Honorary Doctorate it bestowed on the elderly former president in 1991 “for his ‘commitment to justice [which] drew him out of his profession and into national leadership,” adding “Mandela’s life has been an inspiration, here and throughout the world, to all who are oppressed and deprived, and to all who care about oppression and deprivation. He will remain an inspiration to Wits University, and for future generations of humanity.”'

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