The following statement by the ANC came after Winnie Mandela, the ex wife of Nelson Mandela, launched a scathing attack on the leaders of her party, the ANC, for a visit to the ailing Mandela which was broadcast on the SABC. Winnie Mandela was quoted saying the broadcast which showed an obviously ill Mandela surrounded by a vivacious ANC trio, President Jacob Zuma, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and Chairperson Baleka Mbethe, hurt the Mandela family.
The ANC Statement:
The ANC has noted and finds regrettable comments made by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on the April visit to Madiba by the ANC NEC Officials. As the ANC we are in contact on a daily basis with the Mandela family and these issues that have been publicly aired by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela have not been raised in any of these occasions. We want to put it on record that at this time, our pre-occupation is to see Madiba recovering and being re-united with his family at home. The reasons behind the current admission of President Madiba is common knowledge to be a recurrent lung infection as a consequence of his incarceration at the Robben Island. Given this fact, any insinuation that the visit by the officials is the cause of admission cannot be true medically or otherwise.
The visit in April by ANC National Officials, was one of the many visits undertaken by the ANC leadership to see the elderly statesman both at home and in hospital. The reason behind these visits is to continue supporting our former President as the ANC and to give necessary support to his family. Visits to Madiba are governed by protocols involving the family and his medical team. We have to demonstrate active interest in the life of President Mandela who remains our leader and our icon. The ANC will intensify prayer meetings throughout the country and we call on the international community to continue praying for him and his family. We are in this regard humbled by the comforting words of the visiting President of the USA, President Barack Obama who has used his visit to the country to register his support for Madiba and his family and wish him speedy recovery.