"He's looking very good, he's in good shape," says Pres Zuma!


The footage of the international icon was taken during a visit to his home in Houghton by President Jacob Zuma, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and national chairperson Baleka Mbete on Monday, and is the first public glimpse of Mandela since his recent stay in hospital due to a recurring lung condition.

Interviewed at the house, Zuma said: “He’s looking very good, he’s in good shape. We had some conversation with him, he shook hands, smiled. As you can see him, he’s really up and about…”

However, the images of Mandela that were broadcast on Monday night belied Zuma’s claims that the statesman was “up and about” — showing a very frail and drawn Mandela instead.

Mandela was seen closing his eyes as someone’s camera flash light clearly affected his vision.

Mandela is known to have sensitive eyes after years of working in a limestone quarry when he was imprisoned on Robben Island.

Some Twitter users criticised the ANC for not protecting him from the media, while others felt that the ANC had needed to back up its assurances of Madiba’s health with footage. Below are a selection of tweets on the issue:

“Poor Madiba. Reduced to a national tourist attraction” — @JoziGoddess.

“Something beats me about South Africans. Some have been dying 2see Madiba, when they do, others complain. Compatriots, what do we want?” — @maknene.

“After everything Madiba has done for us this is how they treat him. Like an animal at the zoo. Shame on the ANC” — @RazzleMonster.

“Please leave Madiba alone, this poor poor man! He is not immortal, he is an old man who deserves respect and privacy” — @nadsdl.

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