Mbeki’s camp reacts to WikiLeaks cable

2011-01-14 07:06

Ousted president Thabo Mbeki’s ANC credentials “speak for themselves”, his spokesperson said in reaction to reports that he was directly involved in the formation of opposition party Cope.

“Former president Thabo Mbeki’s office has previously received enquires resulting from and based on the recent WikiLeaks cables,” said Mukoni Ratshitanga.

“So far, there has been no need to respond to these enquiries. Mr Mbeki’s office will therefore not comment ... except to point out that former president Mbeki’s membership of the African National Congress is well known and his credentials within this context speak for themselves.”

Beeld reported yesterday that Mbeki had drafted the policy documents of the ANC breakaway party, Cope.

The newspaper said Ratshitanga declined to comment when approached by a Media24 journalist.

Its report was based on a secret US diplomatic note released by the website Wikileaks and obtained by Media24.

The note is dated December 5 2008, and revolves around a meeting between a diplomat, the US embassy and a Unisa professor, Dirk Kotze.

According to the note, Mbeki, who was asked to resign as president of the country by the ANC in September 2008, was involved in writing the policy documents.

Kotze reportedly told the US diplomat that Cope spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama, a former spokesperson for Mbeki, had said the policy document was drafted by Mbeki.

“Smuts made it very clear that it [the policy document] had come from Mbeki,” said Kotze.

He added: “The document has all the characteristics of many of Mbeki’s ANC letters.”

Both Kotze and Ngonyama denied the report, Beeld said.

SABC radio news quoted Kotze yesterday as saying the report was incorrect.

“They certainly misinterpreted the whole situation and therefore what is stated there at the moment, either by the journalist or by whatever other reports, is certainly not a correct reflection of the situation,” Kotze told the public broadcaster.

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