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Aus minister apologises for saying Mandela 'dead'

Melbourne, Jun 27, 2013, (PTI) : 13:54 IST
A print of Nelson Mandela and a get well card hang on the wall outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa Wednesday, June 26, 2013. South Africa's president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday urged his compatriots to show their appreciation for Nelson Mandela, who is in critical condition in a hospital, by marking his 95th birthday next month with acts of goodness that honor the legacy of the anti-apartheid leader. (AP Photo
Australia's Resources Minister Gary Gray today apologised for 'wrongly' telling a gathering that South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela had died.

Gray expressed his apologies to South Africa's envoy for the goof-up, AAP news agency
reported.

"I apologise unreservedly and am deeply sorry to have relayed what I thought was reliable advice," he said.

Gray made the mistake last night when addressing the Minerals Council of Australia's annual official dinner in place of ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Gray said he had relayed his apology to the high commissioner.

Gray's comments came after rumours of Mandela's death circulated on Twitter.
The 94-year-old former South African President was hospitalised with a recurring lung infection, three weeks ago

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