International journalists warned about equipment outside Mandela hospital

International journalists stationed outside the Pretoria hospital where former president Nelson Mandela is believed to be receiving treatment were warned about their equipment on Wednesday.

“… Some broadcasters had some equipment which is not licensed,” said Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) spokesman Jubie Matlou.

Broadcasting equipment brought into the country had to be approved to prevent interference on frequencies used by local, licensed services, he said.

“Apparently what’s happened here, because of former president Mandela being ill, we have a lot of broadcasters coming into the country and bringing in equipment that has not been cleared,” Matlou said.

“So, our inspectors could have picked up interference and complained.”

He said Icasa issued the offenders with non-compliance warnings on Wednesday.

The journalists are camped outside the hospital where Mandela is thought to have been admitted early on Saturday morning in a serious, but stable condition.

“They are being advised to have that equipment cleared with the authority. From tomorrow [Thursday], we will be attending to those applications and helping them with what to do,” said Matlou.

An inspector would report back on the extent of the problem on Thursday and on how to mitigate and resolve it. – Sapa