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'I didn't say Zindzi Mandela should be disciplined,' Thabo Mbeki

Former President Thabo Mbeki has disputed ever calling for Zindzi Mandela to be hauled before a disciplinary hearing.
Former President Thabo Mbeki has disputed ever calling for Zindzi Mandela to be hauled before a disciplinary hearing.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Times

Former president Thabo Mbeki has distanced himself from news articles which stated that he wants action to be taken against Zindzi Mandela following her views on land.

In a media statement released on Monday evening, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation said it 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," read the statement released on Monday evening. 

Mbeki replied 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 ommissioners represent official government policy; not their views and opinions," it said.

The EFF has released a statement condemning former president Thabo Mbeki's call for action to be taken against South Africa's ambassador to Denmark, Zindzi Mandela after a series of her controversial tweets on the land issue.

"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."

Mbeki then 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," read the statement. 

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