A still image of the SABC broadcast of Nelson Mandela being visited by president Jacob Zuma and other top ANC officials. news.iafrica.com
HumanIPO reported earlier today on the Twitter outcry over the broadcast footage of Mandela by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in his frail state after top ANC officials visited him.
The ANC believes publicising the footage was the right thing to do because the world needed to see him.
“Those who are complaining that Madiba’s latest image 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,” theSABC quoted Jackson Mthembu, ANC spokesperson, as saying.
Mandela looked at the camera blankly in the exclusive SABC broadcast while those around him, including president Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC deputy president and Baleka Mbete, ANC chairperson, were talking and laughing.
Zuma then told the SABC Mandela was “in good shape” and “up and about” following his discharge from hospital where he was receiving treatment for recurring lung complications.
Mthembu said the ANC extended an exclusive invitation to the SABC so as not to make Mandela feel 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,” said Mthembu.
He added there would be an “avalanche of criticism” aimed at the ANC if it did not broadcast the footage. However, the broadcasting of the footage achieved the opposite.