ANC unrepentant about Mandela video

"That is plain bullshit," spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told the Sunday Times.

He was responding to a question about whether the ANC used Mandela to bolster its relationship with the public when it was in trouble.

"What trouble?" Mthembu asked.

The ANC said showing the images of Mandela was the right thing to do as the world needed to see him.

"We are not talking about any granny here, we are talking about an icon of the world."


Responding last week, Mthembu said: "We value our elderly; we take time to visit them and inform others on their condition. We maintain that president Mandela is a global icon, as the ANC we regard him as a leader of the people and we would want to keep the world informed of his condition. The video footage captured by the South African Broadcasting Corporation achieves this objective.

"It was in the public interest and where appropriate we will continue to update the nation, the continent and the world on the status of our beloved statesman and revolutionary icon," Mthembu said.

The party's president Jacob Zuma, his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and chairperson Baleka Mbete visited him at his Houghton, Johannesburg, home on April 29.

In the video, posted on YouTube, South Africa's first post-apartheid president is seen sitting impassively with a blanket over his legs. He looks blankly at the camera. A man holds a cellphone in front of his face and takes a photo using a flash.

In a separate article in the Sunday Times, Mandela's grandson Mandla said family members present at the home and who had allowed the interview to take place should be held accountable.

"I just want to point out that the ANC did not just go to the house. There were family members who were there. People allowed it to happen."

In an interview last month with London's Daily Telegraph, Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe said the footage was "undignified and in bad taste".

"There's not a single grandchild or child in their sane mind who would want their parent or grandparent to be exposed to the public in this state," she told the British publication. – Sapa

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