With a chaotic media frenzy crowding the hospital that houses former South African President Nelson Mandela, his oldest daughter Makaziwe is fed up. She simply wants the media, who are anxious to snap newsworthy photos and grab juicy interviews, to leave her ailing father in peace, reports the Huffington Post.
“Vultures” is what she called the foreign media in a South African interview. Makaziwe looked down on them for invading the privacy of her revolutionary anti-apartheid leader father.
“They are standing right there in the aisle,” she told the interviewer. “You cannot even enter [the] hospital and you can’t even go out of the hospital because they are making themselves such a nuisance.”
Makaziwe adds that if people truly care about Mandela, then they should respect him. She went so far as to refer to the media as “racist.” She notes that the media didn’t react so intensely for the death of Margaret Thatcher—a former White British prime minister. “I don’t know how people come here and violate everything,” she said in International Business Times. “When Margaret Thatcher was sick in [the] hospital, I didn’t see this kind of media frenzy where people crossed boundaries.”
She likened the media to the animal world — lurkers who wait for the lion to devour the buffalo, “waiting there for the last of the carcass,” The Week added.
While President Barack Obama was traveling to South Africa yesterday, he and the First Lady met with members of Mandela’s family. In accordance with their wishes, he didn’t visit Mandela in the hospital.
“I expressed my hope that Madiba draws peace and comfort from the time that he is spending with loved ones, and also expressed my heartfelt support for the entire family as they work through this difficult time. I also reaffirmed the profound impact that his legacy has had in building a free South Africa, and in inspiring people around the world – including me,” said the President in a statement.
On the condition of her father, Makaziwe says that “it doesn’t look good, I’m not going to lie,” in the interview. This is contrary to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s recent statement about Mandela showing improvement. But, according to Makaziwe, “when you touch him, he responds and I think for us, as his progeny, as long as [Mandela] is still responding…I think that gives us hope.”
Even as Mandela clings to life, the family drama continues, with his grandson Mandla (who’s also the chief of the Mvezo area in the Eastern Cape Province) fighting to have the bodies of three of Mandela’s deceased children moved. The family dispute was prompted by Mandela’s request to be buried next to them, reports the Los Angeles Times.