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'Mandela should be treated at Baragwanath'

Malema says treating Madiba at a public hospital would show confidence in public healthcare.

FILE:The Economic Freedom Fighters holds a rally in Sebokeng on 13 July 2013. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has declined to respond to comments by Julius Malema that ailing former President Nelson Mandela should be treated at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital to show confidence in the public healthcare system.

Malema made the comments at an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) rally on Saturday in Sebokeng.

He said former Mandela is not receiving treatment at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital because that would be tantamount to risking his health.

Malema said government needs to invest more in the Soweto facility so that people like Mandela and other ministers can receive health treatment there.

"We should have used Baragwanath in the past 20 years. It could have been one of the best hospitals."

However the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom says Madiba is being treated at a private hospital because the military hospital which would usually care for him is mismanaged and is short of resources.

Bloom says state hospitals will only improve if money is spent properly without waste and corruption.

"It's sadly true that former President Mandela would receive poor treatment at Chris Hani- that point by Malema is valid. However, I think Malema is a very poor role model. He doesn't pay his taxes and he's up on corruption charges."

After a lengthy absence from the South African political arena, the expelled ANC Youth League leader announced the official formation of the EFF on Thursday afternoon.

The firebrand politician said the party will fight for nationalisation of mines and land reform without compensation.

He said while these policies may result in sanctions and a situation similar to Zimbabwe's, he says South Africans were ready.

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