According to eNCA the obituary read the university “expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of former president Nelson Rohihlahla 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”.
The obituary was dated July 31, 2013, and the university said in a statement it had prepared the obituary, which was “hidden” on its systems.
According to the university, “a technical error made this available via the search function of Google. At no stage did the university issue this statement or publish it on its website”.
“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,” read the university’s apology.
The apology stated further: “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.”
The university is not the only one to have jumped the gun with an obituary for Mandela.
The Universal Channel (DStv 117) aired an obituary titled “Remembering Madiba” in April. World famous tennis player Rafael Nadal also tweeted a rest-in-peace message for Mandela earlier this month.