ANC president Jacob Zuma has slammed claims that the ANC endangered former president Nelson Mandela's health by asking him to speak at an election rally in Dutywa recently.
Addressing about 25000 people in the Khayelitsha Stadium in Cape Town yesterday, Zuma said Mandela's travel arrangements to the rally "are nobody's business".
"The arrangements were not between Mandela and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, not between Mandela and the newspapers but between Mandela and the ANC," said Zuma.
"When we launched the ANC elections manifesto in East London in January, Madiba phoned me and said he was happy to see the ANC alive. He told me to come and see him in Gauteng. When I got to Gauteng, he said 'I want to go with you to the Eastern Cape. I must appear with you at a rally'," Zuma told the crowd.
He said he offered to organise a rally in Johannesburg for him to address, but that Mandela had insisted on speaking in the Eastern Cape.
"Those who know all [journalists] are now crying - what is the ANC doing to Mandela?" said Zuma. "Who are they? This is the ANC of Mandela. What is their business when the ANC sends its cadres . they are writing things that are in their imaginations.
"Do not listen to the newspapers. They write as if they know what they are talking about," said Zuma.
Meanwhile, Zuma promised to put an end to bureaucracy, corruption and unspent government funds. "We will fire those people who are abusing government resources. When people don't get things done they talk about bureaucracy. We must deal with bureaucracy," Zuma said.
He said "the money that government departments get from the Treasury must be used for the development of the people. We are not going to allow money to be returned to Treasury because people need delivery.''