Though the planned meeting between President Thabo Mbeki and the former DA leader, Tony Leon, raised eyebrows, the president had his reasons for avoiding such a meeting.
I was not surprised at Mbeki's attitude considering the following:
James Sanders, in his book Apartheid Friends: The Rise and fall of South Africa's Secret Service, said: "An indication of the problems which continue to be raised by apartheid's intelligence legacy in contemporary South Africa can be discerned in the story of a 19-year-old 'liberal' who joined the staff of the South African Defence Force's (SADF) magazine, Paratus, in 1975."
In 1976, he "accompanied the then South African president to the American bi-centennial".
Sanders also wrote that the young reporter travelled to Mtata to "file a story for Paratuson the SADF's role in the 'independence' of the Transkei . all correspondence was monitored by the secretary for information, Eschel Rhoodie."
Remember him? Is it purely coincidental that at such a critical time in South Africa's history, this 'liberal' found himself in such high-profile company?
Sanders also suggests that this serviceman was part of apartheid's propaganda machinery.
I am certain that by now you have guessed who the young serviceman was - it was Tony Leon.
Anver Omar, Tshwane