Category Archives: Thabo Mbeki Foundation

Thabo Mbekis Foundation


The Thabo Mbeki Foundation has noted widespread responses to media headlines which falsely state that “Thabo Mbeki wants action to be taken against Zindzi Mandela”.

On Saturday, President Mbeki answered questions posed to him by a journalist from the education desk of the Sunday Tribune. During the interview, the journalists asked whether President Mbeki had read Ambassador Mandela’s Tweet on the land question.

His reply was that he had not read the Tweet. President Mbeki, however, explained the discipline and culture of the diplomatic world in which, as representatives of the President of the Republic and broadly the Government, Ambassadors and High Commissioners represent official government policy; not their views and opinions.

This is so in part because the system of government, as indeed the fabric of foreign policy, would be seriously imperilled were officials to express their personal views as and when they see fit. This has absolutely nothing to do with Ambassador Mandela’s views or her right to hold her views.

Accordingly, President Mbeki explained that prior to taking action, if such action was contemplated, the President or Government would have to consider Ambassador Mandela’s comments relative to the positions of government on the land question. At no point did he call for any action to be taken against Ambassador Mandela. This is borne out by everything the journalist quoted from President Mbeki.

We would like to caution members of the public to beware methods of mobilisation by means of false, emotive narratives and caricatures of derogation. Such methods do not in the least advance public understanding of vital political and public policy matters. To the contrary, they whip up a frenzy which serves the interests of the system we need to transform for the benefit of our people as a whole.

Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation

Thabo Mbeki Foundation


The Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) has noted the important news of the acquittal and release, by the International Criminal Court, of former President of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Laurent Gbagbo.

We welcome this development which we hope will contribute positively to Cote d’Ivoire’s continued efforts in pursuit for sustainable peace, national reconciliation and justice.

In this regard, we stand in support of the views expressed by the Africa Forum – the forum of former African Heads of State and Government, in its letter submitted to the ICC prosecutor, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, on September 09, 2015, appealing for the release of President Gbagbo.

In the letter, the Forum said it had made its appeal in the “…context of our serious concern that Cote d’Ivoire should continue to grow and develop for the benefit of all its citizens, in conditions of peace, democracy and the rule of law, national reconciliation and unity” and that “that Mr Laurent Gbagbo should be allowed to make his important and unique contribution in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire.”

It further underscored the point that “the situation in Cote d’Ivoire requires and demands that the Ivorian people continue to engage in a process of peace and reconciliation by democratic means and in a truly inclusive manner, working together in conditions of peace and security. Peace is a very important element in the pursuit of justice.”

We therefore make an urgent call for all Ivorian parties to engage in an immediate process of dialogue. As the Foundation we stand ready and committed to assisting to ensure this process.

Thabo Mbeki Foundation


On the 31st of January 2018 the Citizen Newspaper published an article under the heading “Mbeki back in business.” The article written by one Eric Naki alleges among other things that “former President Thabo Mbeki is serving as an advisor to new ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa in a move analysts have applauded, saying it brings optimism about SA’s political and economic future.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation would like to put in on record that this is a spurious allegation which is devoid of any truth. This blatant lie is nothing but a product of a hyper active imagination on the part of the writer whose sole purpose is to misinform and mislead people.

This articles is riddled with serious inaccuracies and a poor attempt to revise the content of the interview that President Mbeki conducted with the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Addis Ababa, which was a wide ranging interview about the challenges facing our Continent, in particular the issue of Illicit Financial Flows, the positive developments in the Continent , including the change of Leadership of the African National Congress.

It is in respect to the latter that The Citizen seeks to impugn its own view and to make as if it is President Mbeki’s view , quite wrongly . President Mbeki has stated that the Leadership of the ANC must be given an opportunity to deal with the issues that they themselves have raised such as fighting corruption, the renewal of the ANC, the Unity of the ANC etc. He urged instead that the Leadership must look seriously on the ANC Veterans Declaration of November 2017 , which pointed to a number of these problems and how they should be resolved.

As part of the Veterans of the ANC he would welcome an opportunity to be advised by the current Leadership of the ANC as to what they as the Veterans must do to assist in solving the many problems facing the ANC. Nothing more and nothing less.
It is a matter of grave concern that this journalist would peddle a story which has no basis in reality. Our concern is not only just that this is a propagation of fake news but we are highly conscious of the implications and the consequences of the propagation of fake news. The general public, in South Africa should be alerted to the dangers of this phenomenon.

Historically and for many decades, the people throughout the world have depended and relied on the established media for their information and have naturally accepted what the media reports as objective facts which informed their reality and on the basis of which they made decisions.

Consequently the mainstream media has enjoyed a dominant position in helping to form and shape public opinion, and therefore the way in which the public should act with regard both to national and international developments, as explained by this media.

It is therefore a matter of grave concern when Newspapers such as the Citizen choose to operate outside of the ethics that govern media to report objectively and truthfully but instead choose to abuse the trust that has been bestowed upon the media by the public.

The peddling of lies and misinformation must be exposed and condemned in the strongest terms possible because people may take decisions and act on the basis of these lies.

Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation



The Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) has noted with renewed hope, the recent judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal on the matter involving the President of the Republic, the National Prosecutions Authority and the Democratic Alliance.

The TMF also notes that this judgement has set the parties involved and the country on a course that hopefully will soon bring to finality the matter which has caused the country undue and unnecessary strain for more than a decade and a half.

Delivering the President¹s report at the ANC¹s 52nd National Conference in Polokwane, President Thabo Mbeki conceded that, one of the most difficult and painful challenges [the ANC has] faced over the last five years have arisen around out of matters affecting our Deputy President.
Part of the difficulty we faced in this regard, which has resulted in
many of our members criticising the NEC for failing to provide
leadership, was that here we were dealing with an unprecedented
situation, and therefore had no body of experience that would help our leadership and movement to deal with this situation adequately. All of us hope that we will and can put these matters behind us sooner rather than later.

Sadly, almost decade since this statement was made, this matter has
visited upon our country, its people and our justice system, long lasting consequences reaching far beyond our borders.

We also hope, that the judgment will finally put to rest, what has been over this period, a sustained narrative, devoid of truth and factual basis, that President Mbeki unduly interfered with law enforcement agencies in an effort to ensure the Prosecution of President Zuma, an otherwise innocent figure, in an effort to prevent him from assuming the  office of the Presidency of the ANC and eventually that of the Republic.
On this instance, one Mr Willie Hofmeyr, disingenuously sought to sustain this false narrative, in a futile effort to aid the NPA¹s case.

As Judge Navsa correctly observed, Mr Hofmeyr, is an experienced
litigator who should know better than to present the case in the manner described in this matter. Professedly advancing the case of NPA’s independence and integrity, he achieved the exactly the opposite.

As we welcome, once again, the formal vindication of our Patron, as the TMF however we derive no joy, due to immense damage this case has caused to our body politic and our country¹s institutions, a phenomenon which continues unabated and will take many years to restore.

It is a shame that we have in our country people charged with the
responsibility of dispensing justice for the sustenance of our
Constitutional democracy who finds it apposite that they can use such positions for the exact opposite ends, regardless of the consequences of their behaviour, as in the case of Mr Hofmeyr.

All what is required in this regard, is for the parties to do what in law
they are required to do.

We would like to urge the NPA, therefore, to act accordingly and
speedily, in the interest of justice and the country, in order to bring
to finality a matter Justice Navsa correctly described, quoting TS Eliot, the recurrent end of the unending.


Statement of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation on the Passing of Comrade Ronnie Mamoepa.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation joins the wider family of activists and the rest of the country in expressing our deepest condolences to the immediate family of Comrade Ronnie Mamoepa who passed away last night.

Comrade Ronnie was a devoted servant of the people of South Africa, having joined the struggle against apartheid in his teens in the mid-1970s. For his steadfast commitment to the cause of the people, he was imprisoned in apartheid jails, including the infamous Robben Island prison where he served from 1980 to 1985 after being convicted with eight others (the Atteridgeville Nine) at the tender age of 18 on March 12, 1980.

Upon his release from Robben Island, Comrade Ronnie immersed himself in the activities of the United Democratic Front, the South African Youth Congress and underground structures of the African National Congress (ANC). After the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, he became one of the pathfinders of the ANC’s Department of Information and Publicity and served as one of the ANC’s Spokespersons between 1990 and 1994. In 1994, Comrade Ronnie was elected to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature as one of the people’s tribunes.

Comrade Ronnie later became a senior civil servant and more specifically a communicator in The Presidency and the Departments of Foreign and Home Affairs. The longest serving government communicator at the time he died and always ready to lend a helping hand to his colleagues across government departments, Comrade Ronnie was undoubtedly the Dean of Government Communications.

One of the many qualities which those who knew Comrade Ronnie will miss about him is his keen sense of humour and ability to communicate vital truths in jest. There is a story that is told about an incident which occurred at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre, then Pretoria Central Prison, when Comrade Ronnie was detained during the 1986 – 1987 State of Emergency period.

A rather excited prison warder informed the political prisoners of an inspection visit by a senior prisons official the following day and apprised them of conduct expected of them, including a requirement to salute the visiting prisons official.

Comrade Ronnie immediately retorted and said: “We won’t salute him because we don’t belong to the same army.” The truth of the statement was not lost to the warder despite it being communicated in the characteristic jocular fashion of Comrade Ronnie. The incident illustrates the person Comrade Ronnie was – always loyal to principle and the truth – even as a political prisoner at the hands of a callous enemy. He would sustain this quality to the end. Comrade Ronnie Mamoepa eschewed pettiness, factional calculus and everything that was inimical to the cause of the people.

The ANC, the government and the people of South Africa have lost a loyal cadre, a dedicated civil servant and a model fellow citizen.

His friends, contemporaries and fellow comrades owe Comrade Ronnie a debt of broadcasting the story of his life loudly, far and wide so that it can serve as an inspiration to the current and future crop of civil servants and younger generation of activists.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.

May his soul rest in peace.

Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo.

Tribute to an eminent son of Africa: Comrade Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo

The outpouring grief expressed by many from the length and breadth of the African Continent and abroad is a testimony of the high esteem in which Comrade Toivo Ya Toivo was held by many in our Continent.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation and its Patron, President Thabo Mbeki, join fellow Africans, SWAPO and the Peoples of Namibia in paying tribute to this eminent citizen of our continent, Cde Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo and to convey our sincere condolences to his Family, his comrades in SWAPO and Namibian peoples in general, at the loss of this great and pioneering architecture of a free Namibia.

As we lower our flags for this outstanding son of Africa, we are reminded of a dream of a new Africa for which the struggle must continue.

Comrade Toivo Ya Toivo belongs to a galaxy of stars – a generation of principled, dependable and militant leaders for the liberation of Africa, whose commitment to freedom, justice, and equality was nothing but exemplary.

True to this testimony, Toivo ya Toivo once admonished those who regarded him and his people as second class citizens by saying that “we are Namibians and not South Africans. We do not now, and will not in the future recognize your right to govern us, to make laws for us, in which we had no say, to treat our Country as if it was your property and as if you are our Masters. We have always regarded South Africa as intruders in our Country. This is how we always felt and this is how we feel now and it is on this basis that we faced this trial. He said this with the full knowledge of the consequences of such an attitude towards the racist South African regime, and the price he would pay. He would eventually be incarcerated in Robben Island for more than a decade and a half.

Whilst he lived he not only inspired us to intensify the struggle against Apartheid, but deepened our understanding of the indivisibility of our struggles for liberation of the continent, a point reflected on by the then ANC President Oliver Tambo when he noted that “by your actions (referring to SWAPO) you have forged bonds of unity between yourselves and us, the people of Namibia and the people of South Africa – bonds of brotherhood and comradeship, forged in blood, and for that reason indissoluble. This was also demonstrated by the incarceration together of the Leaders of our Revolution amongst them Herman Toivo Ya Toivo.”

Today this giant of our people is no more, his wise counsel having been lost and his voice only heard from a distant past, he still has important lessons for us to heed, as he recently reminded us when he said that “I depart from this earth a happy person because Namibia is free, and you that are left behind, you have a duty to make it and not break it”.

So, as we bid farewell to this true African giant, who has run his race with distinction we are reminded once again that the struggle for a new Africa continues.

May his soul rest in eternal peace!