A Salford man is currently receiving specialist counselling after voluntarily admitting "I never met Mandela". Police are asking for others in a similar position to come forward for their own protection, and so that they can be offered appropriate support.
Speaking via an intermediary, the 47 year old accounts manager, known only as 'Keith' stated, "What really brought it home to me was when my cousin Millicent put it on Facebook that Mandela had been released from prison on her 18th birthday. Really, once someone has been touched by greatness in that way, it changes them. I realise now the Christmas present I bought for her is probably totally inadequate."
The government's emergency COBRA committee has today warned the public not to offer opinions such as 'he had a good innings' except within the privacy of their own homes.
Keith is currently receiving support from social-exclusion counsellors, and is under witness protection after revealing that he had never shed a tear during 'the whole Diana thing' either. "I was always on the neighbourhood watch list after that one", he admitted ruefully. "I only made it worse at a dinner party when I said, truthfully, that I thought a light had gone out in a great British institution that night. I felt so sorry for the dad of that Fayed chap. He lost his son and no-one seemed to give a stuff. Harrods has never felt the same since".
A spokesman from Salford council warned that they could only afford to fund Keith's protection until the end of the week. "Fortunately though, we aren't having to deal with too many cases of this type. It seems that everyone else has met Mandela at some time during their lives".