Mbeki's a womaniser - Max

2001-04-10 09:16

Johannesburg - Amid his other troubles President Mbeki has to put up with allegations by one of the country's top journalists that he is a womaniser, The Citizen reported on Tuesday.

Speaking on the Safm programme The Editors, Max du Preez said "he is seen as a womaniser. It is publicly known, and I think we should start talking about this, that the President has this kind of personal life. I'm not saying it's scandalous. He's a womaniser."

The Presidency on Monday said it would not dignify Du Preez's claims with a response. The ANC has also refused to comment.

Du Preez, former editor of Vrye Weekblad, produced an award-winning television series for the SABC on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He was also the driving force behind the Special Assignment series. He is seen as a heavyweight with left-wing leanings.

During Sunday's Editors programme Du Preez said there was "a perspective (is) out there among white South Africans, almost the media as a whole, that Thabo Mbeki is untouchable, that, in the African mode, he will be President until he decides not to be.

"Clearly that's not the case. There is a lively debate inside the ANC," The Citizen said.

When show host Nigel Murphy suggested this was because of Mbeki's stance on Aids, Du Preez said the allegations of infidelity also contributed.

"And Winnie Madikizela-Mandela sort of suggested that in her letter that was released, which is part of this whole struggle."

He was referring to a letter by Madikizela-Mandela last year to Deputy President Jacob Zuma in which she denied accusing Mbeki of womanising, The Citizen said.

Last week Zuma issued a statement denying he ad ambitions to take over the presidency.

Du Preez described Zuma's surprise announcement as "one of the most important developments in our country. On the one hand, it's nice to see that an organisation like the former liberation movement is open enough and that they have this kind of think, that it's not like Zanu-PF or Swapo, a monolith.

"On the other hand, I think it could make our very insecure President even more insecure and more thin-skinned when he knows he's being challenged inside his own party."

Du Preez on Monday told The Citizen he had received calls saying he had been irresponsible.

"But I think it's something we should talk about." - News24