Dutch paper sorry for 'tasteless' Mandela article

Posted - Dec. 6, 2013 at 12:23 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The top-selling Dutch newspaper has apologized for a story on its website that linked the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela with a controversial black-face character in the traditional Dutch celebration of Sinterklaas.

In the opening sentence of an article collating reactions to Mandela's death, De Telegraaf said Friday that Mandela "died on the very night of St. Nicholas (with Black Pete)."

Black Pete is the helper of Saint Nicholas, known in the Netherlands as Sinterklaas, who brings children gifts on Dec. 5. Black Pete traditionally is portrayed by people in black-face makeup.

The character has been the focus of a fierce debate in the Netherlands recently between fans of the Sinterklaas tradition and opponents who call Black Pete a racist throwback.

The Telegraaf blamed the "tasteless link" on "an unfortunate convergence of circumstances."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast