The African National Congress says it has the right to give the late struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni a befitting tribute.

This as controversy deepens in the build-up to the Mlangeni’s category one state funeral on Wednesday.

Mlangeni died last Tuesday at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria after complaining of abdominal-related issues. He was 95 and the last surviving Rivonia Trialist.

Political tensions have emerged in the ANC after former party president Jacob Zuma participated in the party’s virtual memorial service for Mlangeni.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says Zuma’s participation was inappropriate because he and Mlangeni did not see eye-to-eye.

WATCH: Former president Jacob Zuma remembers Mlangeni

However, the ANC National Executive Committee member Nomvula Mokonyane disagrees.  “Also we’ve seen from the first, comrade president Thabo Mbeki, as well as comrade president Kgalema Motlanthe, and many other leaders of the ANC have made reflections on the lives and times of comrade Andrew Mlangeni.”

The June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation has distanced itself from what it calls “internal battles” within the ANC.

The remark follows an earlier announcement that former president Jacob Zuma will tonight address the first of a series of virtual memorial services for the late Andrew Mlangeni.

Mlangeni was critical of Zuma’s alleged involvement in corruption, which saw billions of rands in public funds looted in State Capture.

A trustee of the foundation, Malusi Kekana, says they won’t be drawn into the ANC’s internal affairs but will honour the legacy of Mlangeni in a way they see fit.

“What we would not like to do is to take this event of giving Ntate Mlangeni an honourable funeral to mar it in controversy due to the current state of affairs. I think as Africans it is a duty for us not to make this funeral as a point of sowing divisions within the African National Congress.”