We’re not campaigning, Mandela is our own – ANC

2013-06-28 15:22

The ANC has rejected claims that its prayer sessions outside the hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated, is part of its election campaign.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu this afternoon told the media outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria that those who viewed the prayers as campaigns were mistaken.

“We have not forced ourselves into Madiba’s hospital ward. Madiba himself said that he will always remain a member of the ANC,” said Mthembu, dressed in a Madiba T-shirt.

Mthembu was accompanied by the Free State ANC provincial executive committee (PEC), led by Premier Ace Magashule.

The PEC members arrived just before 12pm in two taxis, wearing ANC colours and chanting struggle songs.

They brought candles, flowers, messages of support and sang hymns, wishing the former president a speedy recovery.

“Anyone who wants to see Madiba getting better is welcome to the prayers,” said Mthembu, dismissing claims that the ANC Tshwane region had barred the DA from attending the prayer meeting.

“We are here to say: Madiba, get well. We would never campaign at a hospital. We wish Madiba a speedy recovery and thank some in the media for their reporting, although others have been insensitive to Madiba,” said Mthembu, referring to international media reports about Mandela’s death.

But despite claims by Mthembu that the prayer meeting outside the hospital was not an election campaign, many ANC members who accompanied the entourage shouted: “Viva ANC, Viva Mandela. We will win it for you next year,” in reference to the 2014 general elections.

Mthembu’s comments follows last night’s vigil, which was attended by about 2 000 ANC supporters who arrived in over 30 buses.

Magashule also waded in on the fracas over the electioneering claims.

“Mandela is a product of the struggle. Without the ANC, there would not have been Mandela. He’s our own.

“No one can claim Mandela but the ANC. After today we (the ANC) will give the Mandela family space,” said Magashule, who did not visit Madiba.

Mandela’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe, arrived earlier at the hospital, accompanied by the grandchildren, including Zoleka, Swati, Ndileka, Zondwa and Zaziwe.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi was also seen at the hospital and left about an hour later.

A growing number of well-wishers has been at the hospital.

Mandela’s condition had improved yesterday, according to a statement by the Presidency.

Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, also visited the ailing statesman at the hospital yesterday and later said the family was still hopeful that their grandfather would get better.

Seventeen Mandelas sought an urgent court interdict against Mandla today to force the return of Mandela family remains to Qunu.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

LIVE: Springboks 47-0 USA
No England contact for White
Boks: Coenie ‘worst dresser’
Think Tank: Why are the minnows so much better?
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.