Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ANC Risked Mandela Health For Rally

This blog was one of the first to say that Mandela's appearance at a recent ANC rally was coerced. I believe that Mandela was given no choice but to attend the rally. That's the level of desperation within the evil cabal that is the ANC leadership.

South Africa's ruling ANC put the health of former President Nelson Mandela at risk with inadequate security and travel arrangements for a party rally, the Sunday Times reported.

Mandela, 90, joined ANC leader Jacob Zuma at a Feb. 15 campaign rally in Eastern Cape province ahead of an April 22 election, expected to be the most closely contested since apartheid ended in 1994.

The Sunday Times, citing sources close to Mandela, said Mandela's grandson and supporters of Zuma broke government guidelines for the security of former presidents, as well as the conventions governing travel for Mandela, when they fetched Mandela from his Johannesburg home to fly him to the rally.

He had to fly without his personal physician and the usual arrangements with the nearest hospital to ensure a medical team was on standby, were not made, the report said.

He was also flown on a private jet and not the customary air force aircraft able to accommodate his physical needs.

Mandela has become increasingly frail in recent years, walks with difficulty and has to be helped up and down stairs.

The ANC said in a statement that Mandela himself asked that a rally be organised in the Eastern Cape for him to attend.

"Suggestions that he was 'paraded' at the rally, or somehow coerced into attending, are false and insulting," ANC spokeswoman Jessie Duarte said in the statement.

Mandela, who led his country out of apartheid, has steered clear of the power struggles that have damaged the ANC over the past few years. He has officially retired from public life.

His appearance alongside Zuma was seen as an endorsement of the man who is expected to become president after the election, despite facing a corruption case that has dogged him for years.

The Sunday Times said the Nelson Mandela Foundation which has organised his travel since Mandela stepped down as president in 1999 was not aware of the visit until late on the day before the trip and was not allowed to help or give advice.

"In fact, we were not aware that he was going until the last minute. We were taken as much by surprise as many other people," foundation chairman Jakes Gerwel told the newspaper.

Duarte said the party regretted any problems that might have arisen with the travel arrangements and would discuss this with the foundation to avoid future confusion.

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