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ANC, criticized over footage of frail Mandela, says 'We wanted to share Madiba with the world'

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    In this image taken from video, the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. Mandela was treated in hospital for a recurring lung infection. South African President Jacob Zuma visited the former leader on Monday, but Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit, as he sits in an armchair, his head propped up by a pillow with his cheeks showing what appear to be marks from a recently removed oxygen mask, although Zuma said he found Nelson Mandela “in good shape and in good spirits”. (AP Photo/SABC TV) SOUTH AFRICA OUTThe Associated Press

  • 6da3fd866109720e300f6a70670002d3.jpg

    In this image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma, left, sits with the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. Mandela was treated in hospital for a recurring lung infection. South African President Jacob Zuma visited the former leader on Monday, but Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit, as he sits in an armchair, his head propped up by a pillow and with his cheeks showing what appear to be marks from a recently removed oxygen mask, although Zuma said he found Nelson Mandela “in good shape and in good spirits”. (AP Photo/SABC TV) SOUTH AFRICA OUTThe Associated Press

  • d4f8b9196109720e300f6a70670064d9.jpg

    In this image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma, left, sits with the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. Mandela was treated in hospital for a recurring lung infection. South African President Jacob Zuma visited the former leader on Monday, but Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit, as he sits in an armchair, his head propped up by a pillow and with his cheeks showing what appear to be marks from a recently removed oxygen mask, although Zuma said he found Nelson Mandela “in good shape and in good spirits”. (AP Photo/SABC TV) SOUTH AFRICA OUTThe Associated Press

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    In this image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma, centre left, sits with the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela, centre right, is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, with unidentified members of his family and his medical team as they pose together more than three weeks after Mandela was released from hospital. Mandela was treated in hospital for a recurring lung infection. South African President Jacob Zuma visited the former leader on Monday, but Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit, as he sits in an armchair, his head propped up by a pillow and with his cheeks showing what appear to be marks from a recently removed oxygen mask, although Zuma said he found Nelson Mandela “in good shape and in good spirits”. (AP Photo/SABC TV) SOUTH AFRICA OUTThe Associated Press

The African National Congress responds to a barrage of criticism over broadcasting video of a visibly frail Nelson Mandela by saying it wanted to share the anti-apartheid icon with South Africans and the world.

Spokesman Jackson Mthembu says it doesn't make sense to say South Africa's governing party was using the occasion as an electioneering tool as it gears up for elections next year.

Social media and talk radio shows buzzed with angry comments Tuesday that the party had been disrespectful by showing footage of the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon looking vacant, grey-skinned and unsmiling.

Mthembu says the party would also have been criticized if it had not broadcast the video.

Mandela was hospitalized last month for the third time in five months for a recurring lung infection.