Media Coverage Of Ailing Mandela Sparks Anger in Johannesburg

In this image taken from video, the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. South African President Jacob Zuma visited the former leader on Monday, but Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit.

In this image taken from video, the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. South African President Jacob Zuma visited the former leader on Monday, but Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit.

JOHANNESBURG –  The African National Congress responds to a barrage of criticism over broadcasting video of a visibly frail Nelson Mandela by saying it wanted to share the anti-apartheid icon with South Africans and the world.

Spokesman Jackson Mthembu says it doesn’t make sense to say South Africa’s governing party was using the occasion as an electioneering tool as it gears up for elections next year.

Social media and talk radio shows buzzed with angry comments Tuesday that the party had been disrespectful by showing footage of the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon looking vacant, grey-skinned and unsmiling.

Mthembu says the party would also have been criticized if it had not broadcast the video.

Mandela was hospitalized last month for the third time in five months for a recurring lung infection.

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