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Mbeki reveals UK, US wanted SA to help remove Mugabe from power

Former President Thabo Mbeki said that the British government under Tony Blair even planned to intervene militarily in Zimbabwe but had to abandon this plan as Mugabe enjoyed support from his southern African neighbours.

FILE: Former President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: United Nations Photo

DURBAN - Former President Thabo Mbeki has used the KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress (ANC)'s memorial service of the late former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe to recount how the British and American governments once sought his assistance to remove him from power.

Mbeki said that he refused even after mounting pressure on him.

The former president said that his refusal was based on the belief that it was only the Zimbabwean people who had the right to remove Mugabe from power.

Former President Thabo Mbeki delivered the keynote address in Durban where the provincial ANC held the first of four memorial services for the late former Zimbabwean leader.

Mbeki said that during the 2002 presidential elections in Zimbabwe, the British and American governments were very interested in removing Mugabe from power.

"The UK and the US were particularly interested that President Mugabe should not run as president of Zimbabwe and so they contacted us to make this proposal a way must be found to make sure he doesn't run."

Mbeki said that the British government under Tony Blair even planned to intervene militarily in Zimbabwe but had to abandon this plan as Mugabe enjoyed support from his southern African neighbours.

Mbeki said that Mugabe was his comrade and a leader who would never leave the struggle for liberation.

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