The African National Congress 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 demonstrate the government's confidence in the public healthcare system.
Malema made the comments at an Economic Freedom Fighters rally in Sebokeng at the weekend.
He said former president Mandela was not receiving treatment at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital because that would be tantamount to risking his health.
Malema added that government needed to invest more in the Soweto facility so that people such as Mandela and government ministers could receive health treatment there.
"We should have used Baragwanath in the past 20 years. It could have been one of the best hospitals," said Malema.
However, the DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said that Madiba was being treated at a private hospital because the military hospital which would usually care for him was mismanaged and short on resources.
Bloom added that state hospitals would only improve if money was 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," said Bloom.
The former ANCYL leader announced the official formation of the EFF last week.
The firebrand politician said the party would fight for the nationalisation of mines and land reform without compensation. He said that while these policies may result in sanctions and a situation similar to Zimbabwe's, he thought South Africans were ready.