Mandela a ‘smooth African’ – Jacob Zuma

2013-06-13 15:16

Former president Nelson Mandela was not just a nice ANC man, he was a “smooth African”, President Jacob Zuma has said.

Opposition parties should not distort Mandela’s legacy and should be “honest and genuine” in appreciating him, he said today in replies to yesterday’s debate on the presidency’s budget vote in the National Assembly.

People were creating a superficial image of Madiba.

“They must love Madiba the volunteer-in-chief of the defiance campaign, Madiba the Umkhonto weSizwe commander-in-chief, Madiba the revolutionary, Madiba the long-serving prisoner,” said Zuma.

“We must not only focus on Madiba the first president of a democratic South Africa who implemented ANC policies of reconciliation and transformation.”

Mandela spent his sixth day in a Pretoria hospital today.

Zuma yesterday said he was responding well to treatment.

“I am happy to report that Madiba is responding better to treatment,” he said.

Zuma urged South Africans to keep Mandela and his medical team in their thoughts and prayers.

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