, JOHANNESBURG, Apr 7 – South African youth leader Julius Malema urged voters to back the ruling African National Congress in local polls to keep former president Nelson Mandela healthy, media said Thursday.
"President Mandela is sick and you don\’t want to contribute to a worsening condition of Mandela by not voting ANC. President Mandela will never endure if the ANC is out of power," Malema told hundreds of supporters, The Star newspaper reported.
The firebrand leader of the ANC youth league spoke on the campaign trail in the southern industrial city Port Elizabeth, ahead of local elections on May 18.
South Africa\’s first black president was briefly hospitalised in January for an acute respiratory infection, but the 92-year-old is currently staying in his Johannesburg home.
Malema is no stranger to controversial statements. He is currently locked in a legal battle with a white lobby group over whether an anti-apartheid struggle song that includes the lyrics "shoot the farmer" should be banned as hate speech.