FAKE NEWS | No, former president Thabo Mbeki has not died of Covid-19

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Former president Thabo Mbeki.
Former president Thabo Mbeki.
Picture: Supplied
  • A WhatsApp message claiming that former president Thabo Mbeki has died is fake. 
  • The message being distributed claims to be from News24.
  • The Thabo Mbeki Foundation confirmed the message was fake and that Mbeki was alive and well. 

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation has rubbished a WhatsApp message, by a person purporting to be from News24, which claims the former president has succumbed to Covid-19 after battling the virus for the past four days.

In the fake breaking news WhatsApp message being widely distributed, Trisha Takanowa claims to be a journalist from News24.

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The message reads: "BREAKING NEWS: ex president Thabo Mbeki has just passed away  of the COVID 19 virus after battling it for the past 4 days. The ex president passed away in his Killarney residence which he was being treated from, says his wife Zanele Dlamini Mbeki.  ~news 24/ reporter: Trisha takanowa [sic]"

No person by the name of "Trisha Takanowa" works at News24.

Foundation spokesperson Siyabulela Gebe rubbished the reports as fake.

"There is no such [thing]. The former president is perfectly well.

"On Saturday, he delivered the Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture. This [fake report] is something that doesn't warrant any airtime. Mbeki is perfectly okay. I spoke to him an hour ago."

Gebe urged people to refrain from spreading fake news.
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