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ANC responds to 'regrettable' Winnie Mandela remarks

The African National Congress (ANC) has issued a response to comments made by Winnie Mandela in an interview with ITV News.

Nelson Mandela's former wife had described a President Zuma photocall with Mandela as "insensitive" and said the family was "hurt".

The ANC said:

The ANC has noted and finds regrettable comments made by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on the April visit to Madiba by the ANC NEC Officials.

As the ANC we are in contact on a daily basis with the Mandela family and these issues that have been publicly aired by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela have not been raised in any of these occasions.

We want to put it on record that at this time, our pre-occupation is to see Madiba recovering and being re-united with his family at home.

The visit in April by ANC National Officials, was one of the many visits undertaken by the ANC leadership to see the elderly statesman both at home and in hospital.

The reason behind these visits is to continue supporting our former President as the ANC and to give necessary support to his family.

Visits to Madiba are governed by protocols involving the family and his medical team.

– Jackson Mthembu, National Spokesperson, ANC

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ANC accuses Pistorius' father of 'racist slur'

Oscar Pistorius talks to his father Henke after a court appearance in Pretoria. Credit: Reuters

The African National Congress has accused Oscar Pistorius' father of being "racist" after he reportedly told the Daily Telegraph that "the ANC government is not willing to protect white South Africans"

In a statement the ANC said: "The African National Congress rejects with contempt the accusation made by Henke Pistorius (the father to Oscar Pistorius) to a UK newspaper that "the ANC government is not willing to protect white South Africans".

"Not only is this statement devoid of truth, it is also racist. It is sad that he has chosen to politicise a tragic incident that is still fresh in the minds of those affected and the public.

"This tragic incident has affected two families that are still trying to come to terms with what happened and this latest racist slur is not assisting these families.

"We think it is ill-advisable for anyone to start apportioning undue blame."

Pistorius family distances itself from gun comments

After Oscar Pistorius' father Henke spoke of the family's use of guns in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the Pistorius family has released a statement, distancing themselves from his comments.

"Oscar Pistorius’s family is deeply concerned about the comments made by Oscar’s father, Henke Pistorius, to UK newspaper the Telegraph about the family using its weapons to defend themselves against crime in South Africa...

Henke Pistorius, pictured here with son Carl, has spoken to the Daily Telegraph. Credit: Reuters

"Especially about his comments that the ANC government is not willing to protect white South Africans.

“The Pistorius family own weapons purely for sport and hunting purposes,” said Arnold Pistorius, family spokesperson.

“Henke’s interview with the newspaper was unapproved by our media liaison team. The comments do not represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the Pistorius family.”

“We are acutely aware of the fact that we are only at the beginning of a long road to prove that what happened to Reeva Steenkamp was a terrible accident and that Oscar never intended to harm her, let alone cause her death.

“As a family, and Oscar in particular, we will never be the same after the tragic events on 14 February this year. We are still in deep mourning, trying to come to terms with what happened.

"For this reason and out of respect for the Steenkamp family, the Pistorius family will not grant any media interviews at this time.”

South Africa's ruling ANC to choose next leader

South Africa's governing political party, the African National Congress (ANC), will choose its next leader today.

Around 4,000 delegates are expected to attend the ANC's Mangaung conference, held in the city also known as Bloemfontein, to decide whether President Jacob Zuma or his unionist deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, should lead the party.

Will current South African President Jacob Zuma win the ANC ballot? Credit: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

The leader is voted for via a secret ballot, and ANC organisers said the delegates will not have mobile phones over fears they may be told to photograph their ballots to prove who they voted for, according to the Associated Press.

If it the leadership race has multiple candidates and no one receives than 50 percent of the vote there will be a run-off between the top two candidates, the party said.