Mbeki: Stories about me and Mugabe are lies

2008-05-18 00:00

Lies, lies and more lies was President Thabo Mbeki’s response to stories doing the rounds about his relationship with President Robert Mugabe. The latest that Mbeki dismissed as a complete lie is that he ordered the deputy minister of Defence to refuel the ship carrying arms for Zimbabwe.

Speaking at a press briefing after the International Investment Council meeting, the president remarked on rumours doing the rounds, saying there seems to be a sustained campaign to peddle falsehoods against him.

He said there is a story that Mugabe is hiding in the presidential home in Gauteng, another that they jointly own a diamond mine in the DRC, and one that says Mugabe gave him a farm in Zimbabwe.

"I’ve been told that in 1982 I was arrested in Zimbabwe for drugs and weapons smuggling and a consequence of that is that whenever I see President Mugabe I start shaking," Mbeki said jokingly.

He added that another story is that either his wife, himself or both of them are blood relations of Mugabe’s wife.

Mbeki said there is a "factory of lies" and he is personally interested in tracking it down. A very fertile mind is pursuing this as a full-time job, he said.

According to Mbeki, SA has sent a team to stop the violence in Zimbabwe. The team is not there to supply reports but to deal with the violence.

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