The African National Congress (ANC) has defended Fikile Mbalula who came under attack after giving a speech at struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral on Saturday. Mbalula addressed the crowd and said he was representing the young lions.

This got temperatures up with people questioning why a 47 year old was speaking on behalf of the youth. Some said it was clear the ANC Youth League was dead. The ANC’s Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte says Mbalula represented the youth that worked with Madikizela-Mandela.

“There was no request from the family that a person from the Youth League to speak at the funeral instead there was a request from the family for somebody from that period, then they were called the young lions, to speak at the funeral during the period when they worked closely with her and that is comrade Fikile Mbalula. It is correct that he should have spoken.”

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