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A video of a frail and unamused looking Nelson Mandela surrounded by South African President Jacob Zuma and other officials has prompted cries of political exploitation by the government.

In the footage released by the South African Broadcasting Corp., the 94-year-old Mandela sits in a chair at his Johannesburg home, barely moving and never smiling as leaders from the governing African National Congress arrange themselves for a photo opportunity.

At one point Mandela’s grandson takes a picture with flash, causing him to close his eyes and purse his lips. The former president is sensitive to flash photography from his years laboring in quarries during his imprisonment under the country’s apartheid government.

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Zuma says Mandela is in “good shape,” but the footage seems to show him looking anything but — and the stunt provoked outrage from many in South Africa who accused the ANC and SABC of parading the country’s anti-apartheid hero on television for their own benefit.

“Very sad seeing the footage of Madiba. And who was the idiot who took a pic of him with a flash? Disgraceful. Leave him alone”, tweeted Johannesburg radio DJ John Robbie, using the clan name by which Mandela is widely referred to in South Africa. Another Twitter user, Brent Lindeque, wrote: “After everything Madiba has done for us this is how they treat him. Like an animal at the zoo. Shame on the ANC!”

“[A]fter months of attacking media for ‘invading’ Mandela’s privacy, ANC today released an invasive video of a clearly ailing and grim Mandela,” tweeted journalist Geoffrey York. One Johannesburg radio station wrote: “The way #Madiba was paraded on SABC TV this evening was horrible! Grotesque ‘journalism’. All involved should hang their heads in shame!”

Mandela endured 27 years in prison before becoming the country’s first black president in 1994. He has become increasingly frail over the years and has been hospitalized three times in the past five months, most recently for a lung infection in March.

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article courtesy of CNN.com

Video Of Ailing Nelson Mandela Prompts Outrage In South Africa  was originally published on praisecleveland.com

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