Nelson Mandela's daughter claims 'racist element' in coverage of her father's failing health

The eldest daughter of Nelson Mandela has said there is a “racist element” in the way the international media has covered her father's ill health in recent weeks.

Makaziwe Mandela has compared the press to “vultures” and questioned why the ill health of Margaret Thatcher wasn’t covered in the same way.

She told South Africa’s state broadcaster SABC: “The fact that my dad is a global icon… does not mean that people can’t respect [his] privacy and dignity.

“And I do not want to say this but I’m going to say it: There is sort of a racist element with many of the foreign media. Where they just cross boundaries.”

The latest reports from Johannesburg suggest Mandela’s condition "remains critical but is now stable" and his daughter said the family has “hope”.

But she described the media as a “nuisance” and said the coverage had gone “overboard”.

She said: “It is like truly vultures. Waiting when the lion has devoured the buffalo. Waiting there for the last carcass.”

Makaziwe Mandela added: “When Margaret Thatcher was sick in the hospital I didn’t see this kind of media frenzy around [her].”

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