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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela blasts Zuma over 'insensitive' visit

Sapa-AFP

Nelson Mandela's ex-wife strongly criticised on Sunday a visit paid by South African President Jacob Zuma in April to the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. (Catalina Farias, M&G)

Zuma and the ruling ANC party had come under fire at home and abroad for the visit in April to the former president, who was recuperating at home following a 10-day hospital stay.

"I honestly cannot put in words how hurt the family was. It was one of the most insensitive things for anyone to have done," Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told Britain's ITV News television.

In excerpts published on the ITV website, she added: "It was insensitive, it compromised the family, compromised his dignity and it should have never been done."

Zuma said at the time Mandela was "up and about", a description that was clearly at odds with televised footage that showed the revered ex-leader frail and dazed, sitting frozen in an armchair.

Mandela, 94, is said to remain in a critical but stable condition after more than three weeks in a Pretoria hospital suffering from a recurrent lung infection. - Sapa-AFP

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