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'One of the greatest': Twitter wishes Thabo Mbeki a happy 77th birthday

Some social media users took to Twitter to describe Mbeki as one of Africa’s greatest sons of the soil.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Thabo Mbeki Facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG - The Thabo Mbeki Foundation said it was inundated with congratulatory messages on social media as the former president turned 77 on Tuesday.

Some social media users took to Twitter to describe Mbeki as one of Africa’s greatest sons of the soil.

While others are making fun of some controversial statements he made during his time as head of state.

Mbeki was labelled an HIV denialist after he was reported as having said HIV doesn’t cause aids but later clarified the statement saying, "a virus cannot cause a syndrome".

Khomotso Molefi said he was eternally grateful for the former statesman. He added that Mbeki 's soul was not captured and his intellect would be missed.

At the same time, Mbeki was also described as a man who sowed the seeds of state capture.

Mbeki was set to celebrate his birthday by launching a presidential library at the University of South Africa in Pretoria.