Holomisa castigates ANC for upsetting Mandela family

Holomisa, a close friend of the Mandela family who continues to advise them on many issues, said some of the statements made since the former statesman was admitted to hospital have angered and upset the family.

Mandela was rushed to hospital on Saturday June 15 and is being treated for a recurring lung infection at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

"Some of the family members were unhappy about the way his admission to hospital on Saturday morning was communicated because it tended to trigger panic buttons as many [of them] were not aware [of his condition]," said Holomisa.

Read more:

"Remember, it is a big family. I think [presidency spokesperson] Mac Maharaj tends to go too far, like when he said that Mandela was breathing on his own. Those things should be left to the medical doctors. The presidency should just tell us that he is in ­hospital and ­confirm where he has been admitted."


Holomisa also criticised ANC struggle veteran Andrew Mlangeni, who, during an interview, urged the family and South Africans to release Mandela spiritually and let him go.

"To the young members of the Mandela family, who do not know the cultural connotations of Mlangeni's statement, this was a complete shock. It was interpreted as if he wished him to die.

"As a friend of the family, it was felt he should have gone to the family and met the elders … and conveyed whatever he wished to have said. The fact that he went to the media infuriated the family," said Holomisa.

A month ago the ANC and its senior party leaders came under international and local criticism for ­visiting a clearly ailing Mandela.

The visit was then broadcast on SABC television, which showed images of a smiling President Jacob Zuma and ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa with a frail Mandela, who showed no visible emotions.

This week Mandela's family reportedly issued instructions that nobody outside the family would be allowed to visit him in hospital.

However, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu dismissed the reports, saying the family denied ever issuing an instruction that would essentially bar the ANC and government officials from visiting the former president.

Laloo Isu Chiba, a former Robben Island inmate and the man who helped write the manuscript of Mandela's autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, said he was saddened by the former president's medical condition.

"We hope the family will cope and are confident they will take things through with courage," said Chiba. "We feel their pain and we are with them in our prayers."

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Charles Molele
Guest Author

Related stories

A distress signal from Soweto in 1977

A Window on Soweto by Joyce Sikakane-Rankin provided insight during apartheid censorship

South Africa must revisit and refresh its idea of itself

Covid has propelled citizens into feelings of a new shared identity in which the historical force of ‘whiteness’ is fading into irrelevance

Public protector clears Magashule, Joemat-Pettersson

Current ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has been cleared of allegations that he misled the...

Dance with the ‘devil’: Why SA has fought off the IMF for so long

The ANC has, until now, always rejected going to the International Monetary Fund, which underscores how bad our economic situation is

‘Prisoner 913’: The long, zigzagging path to Mandela’s release

A new book draws on the secret archive of NP justice minister Kobie Coetsee to paint a detailed picture of the lead-up to Nelson Mandela’s release. Shaun de Waal spoke to co-author Riaan de Villiers

Cameroon is a ship without a captain

Ahead of planned protests, Cameroon’s main opposition leader argues that change is more urgent than ever
Advertising

Subscribers only

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

More top stories

ATM withdrawal halts no-confidence vote against the president

The party wants the court to rule on the secret ballot issue first, with the case set to be heard in early February

Ruling deals crushing blow to zero-hours contracts

Ferrero factory workers have won the first battle in what might become one of South Africa’s next wars on casual and precarious work

Eusebius McKaiser: Mpofu, Gordhan caught in the crosshairs

The lawyer failed to make his Indian racist argument and the politician refused to admit he had no direct evidence

Corruption forces health shake-up in Gauteng

Dr Thembi Mokgethi appointed as new health MEC as premier seeks to stop Covid-19 malfeasance
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…