Australian politician apologizes for wrongly announcing that Nelson Mandela has died

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.