Australian minister sorry for Mandela mistake

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Associated Press

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 27 at 12:33 AM

SYDNEY (AP) — An Australian politician has apologized to South Africa's high commissioner for incorrectly announcing that Nelson Mandela had died.

Resources Minister Gary Gray issued a statement Thursday saying he was "deeply sorry" for wrongly telling guests at a Minerals Council of Australia dinner at Parliament House on Wednesday that the anti-apartheid leader was dead.

Gray said he had mistakenly shared what he "thought was reliable advice."

Mandela is in critical condition at a hospital. The 94-year-old former president was admitted to the Pretoria hospital on June 8 to be treated for what the government said was a recurring lung infection.

Mandela was jailed for 27 years under white racist rule. He was freed in 1990 and became South Africa's first black president in 1994.

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