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

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.