JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela has praised Jacob Zuma, the newly elected leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), as a man who could unify the divided party.
In a message of congratulations, Mandela said: "Our experience of Comrade Zuma is of a person and leader who is inclusive in his approach, a unifier and one who values reconciliation and collective leadership."
"We have no doubt that he will bring those well-known characteristics to his task of leading our organization," he was quoted as saying by the Saturday Star newspaper.
Mandela urged the divided ANC to rally behind Zuma.
Zuma ousted President Thabo Mbeki as party leader after their intense rivalry divided the party, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994.
Before the election, Mandela who decided not to endorse one candidate or to attend the conference, said divisions within the party race were saddening.
He said it was inevitable the results of the elections would be interpreted by some "as an overwhelming victory for one camp or faction over another".
Mandela's spokeswoman on Friday dismissed rumours that former president's health has taken a turn for the worse.
Zelda la Grange said her office had been flooded with inquiries.
"rumours have again surfaced about Mr. Mandela's well-being. Mr. Mandela is in the former Transkei (his hometown in the Eastern Cape Province) where he is enjoying the festive season with his family," SAPA quoted her as saying.
"He is due back in Johannesburg only towards the end of January."
With any luck that commie cunt Zuma will finally be jailed next year. As for "Boxer" Mandela, someone needs to put him out of his misery and send him to the glue factory. His support for Zuma only damages his reputation as an honourable man.