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Mbeki condemns people who accused him of ‘paranoia’ while in office

He says claims he was ‘aloof’, ‘intellectual’ and ‘out of touch’ were based on deliberate misinformation.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: screen grab.

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Thabo Mbeki has lashed out at people who accused him of being paranoid while he was in office and claims he never decided whether Cyril Ramaphosa, Mathews Phosa and Tokyo Sexwale were involved in a plot against him.

In 2001, then safety and security minister Steve Tshwete claimed on national television that the three had been plotting to remove Mbeki.

His claim led to internal ructions within the African National Congress (ANC).

In an article posted on the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute's Facebook page, the former president first castigates people who claimed he was paranoid while he was in office.

He says many of the claims that he was aloof, intellectual and out of touch with both the ANC and the people were not substantiated - and in some cases - were based on deliberate misinformation.

Mbeki then explains how in his view Tshwete mentioned the names of Ramaphosa, Phosa and Sexwale on national TV by mistake.

He says the fact is that neither the Presidency, nor anyone in national government or the senior leadership of the ANC, initiated any action implicating the three in any conspiracy.

Mbeki added that he did not actually make up his mind about whether James Nkambule's claims were actually correct.