On November 1, in his personal capacity, President Thabo Mbeki wrote a letter to President Jacob Zuma with respect to matters that had been raised with the leadership of the ANC by 101 Veterans of the organisation. The letter was copied to ANC Secretary General, Mr Gwede Mantashe, as well as Mr Mongane Wally Serote, the latter in his capacity as Chairperson of the Veterans initiative.
The letters to President Zuma and SG Mantashe were hand delivered to the latter at Luthuli House on the same day, after President Mbeki had spoken to Mr Mantashe to inform him that the letters would be hand delivered to him.
Regrettably, the letter was subsequently leaked to the media by persons we do not know, which then published it during the morning of November 3. This suggests that the print media would have been in the possession of the letter by November 2.
The letter was also widely circulated on November 3 through the social media.
After the letter was leaked, and widely distributed by the print and social media, and later the broadcast media, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation was inundated with calls from the public about the authenticity of the letter. In response, the TMF placed the letter on the Foundation’s website during the evening of November 3, many hours after it had been in the public domain.
The letter was intended for President Zuma and the leadership of the ANC, not for public distribution. If it had been intended for such distribution as an “open letter”, there would have been no need to ensure its secure delivery directly to the ANC SG at Luthuli House.
We believe that to the extent that the issues raised in the letter have wider national implications, President Zuma and the ANC leadership should focus on the contents of the letter with the requisite seriousness.
Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation
November 7, 2016
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