President Jacob Zuma.

Eastern Cape ANC has defended President Jacob Zuma against criticism by axed ANC Youth League President Julius Malema and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

“It's unfortunate that people waited for the International Nelson Mandela day to mount their uncharismatic attack on the ANC and its government,” said provincial ANC spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane.

Qoboshiyane was responding to public comments by Malema and Madikizela-Mandela in speeches and television interviews.

The two recently criticised Zuma for his polygamous lifestyle.

Qoboshiyane accused them of “cheap politics” that did not live up to the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

“(Mandela) never harboured cheap politics and never associated himself with anything that attempts to erode public confidence and bring the ANC into disrepute,” Qoboshiyane said.

“We are of the view that his (Malema's) current myopic frenzy of attacking and insulting Zuma appears to be his newly found hobby.”

Malema was “exaggerating his self-importance” in getting Zuma elected as president of the ANC and the nation.

Qoboshiyane accused Malema of hypocrisy, saying he was a populist who “amassed millions of rands for personal use in less than three years”.

Qoboshiyane also criticised Madikizela-Mandela for her comments on Zuma's lifestyle.

“We are neither shocked nor impressed by her comments about President Zuma. She has been lambasting the ANC publicly, humiliating leadership, and chastising the current crop of leadership carelessly.”

The Eastern Cape expected more from her, Qoboshiyane said. - Sapa