Tony Leon served in propaganda arm of SADF

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.

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

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