ANC criticized for visit with frail Nelson Mandela (VIDEO)


Nelson Mandela in 2003.


Anna Zieminski

South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) has defended its criticized video of President Jacob Zuma's visit with a frail Nelson Mandela in his home, saying it was not a "publicity stunt."

ANC said the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero was in "good health" and "good spirits" during the visit, which was the first time he's been seen publicly since leaving the hospital on April 6, where he was being treated for pneumonia.

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But others have said the footage shows otherwise, and many have accused the ANC of exploiting Mandela and his illness.

The video, released by South Africa's state broadcaster SABC, shows Mandela sitting in a chair in his Johannesburg home. He barely moves and never smiles as ANC members prepare for a photo opportunity.

At one point, his grandson takes a photo with flash that makes Mandela close his eyes and purse his lips. Madiba, as the former president is also known, is sensitive to flash photography because of years of working in quarries during his time in jail under South Africa's apartheid government.

"Those who are complaining that Madiba's latest images was a publicity stunt by the [ANC] are eating sour grapes," ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said

"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."

[View the story "Outrage at #ANC treatment of #Madiba" on Storify]
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