ANC slams Zuma booing

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iol news pic SSIB07_MANDELA_1210_11

REUTERS

President Jacob Zuma. File photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

 Johannesburg - The ANC has condemned the behaviour of people who booed during the memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela on Tuesday.

 "Some amongst the mourners displayed despicable and unbecoming behaviour by repeatedly heckling Comrade President Zuma," said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

"This is a period of mourning. None amongst us should ever use this solemn moment to disrespect any amongst us, whatever their personal views and grievances."

Mthembu called upon South Africans to conduct themselves in a manner that befitted the stature and sacrifices made by Mandela.

"All of us to have the right to differ in a constructive and disciplined manner."

Earlier, the crowd booed President Jacob Zuma every time his image was shown on the big screen.

African National Congress deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa had to take control of the situation after disruptions by the crowd.

He called on them three times to be disciplined.

"We have visitors let's not embarrass ourselves. Behave," said Ramaphosa.

"He (Mandela) was a disciplined cadre and let us send him off in a disciplined way."

Mthembu urged mourners to observe the remaining events in honour of Mandela, until the funeral this Sunday, "with the dignity and sombreness these moments deserve.

"Whatever the motivation for this behaviour, the behaviour still remains condemned," he said at the end of the memorial at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.

"Whoever was party to that did us, as a country, a disservice.

"It did the Madiba family, who are mourning, and also Mama Graca (Mandela's widow Graca Machel) and Mama Winnie (his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela)... a terrible disservice."

The memorial had not been the platform to air political views. Those who booed had let down all South Africans present at the memorial and watching on television, Mthembu said. - Sapa


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