South Africa: The World Needed to See Mandela - ANC

Vukani Mde, from African Practice, says that there's no moral difference between what the ANC did by taking a camera crew into Nelson Mandela's home ... ( Resource: S Africa's ANC Lash Out at Critics Over Mandela Footage

Showing images of a frail former president Nelson Mandela was the right thing to do as the world needed to see him, the ANC said on Tuesday.

"Those who are complaining that Madiba's latest images was a publicity stunt by the [African National Congress] are eating sour grapes.... We are happy we shared Madiba with the world, even in his frail state," said spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and South Africa's first post-apartheid president was shown sitting impassively with a blanket over his legs in footage of a visit by ANC top leaders to his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Monday.

In the exclusive SABC broadcast, he looked blankly at the camera while those around him chatted and laughed.

With him were President Jacob Zuma, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, chairwoman Baleka Mbete and his medical team.

Zuma told the state broadcaster Mandela was "in good shape" and "up and about" after his release from hospital earlier this month after receiving treatment for recurring lung problems.

"Our people have not seen Madiba in many years. Now they have seen him open and close his eyes.... We are happy with his health. He is no longer a young man," said Mthembu.

He said the ANC had invited only the SABC to avoid "making Mandela uncomfortable".

"We did not invite the whole crew, because we care about Madiba. The SABC even distributed the images to other broadcasters. This was in the public interest."

Mthembu said there would have been an "avalanche of criticism" towards the ANC if it had not shown Mandela's images.

The footage has been widely criticised, by among others social media users, with The Associated Press reporting that it would likely cause more concern for the many South Africans who revere Mandela.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 South African Press Association. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

S Africa's ANC Lashes Out Over Mandela TV Footage

The African National Congress has lashed out against criticism it has received for publishing footage of former president Nelson Mandela. The party was also accused of using ... Read more »