An allegedly leaked letter from Luthuli House suggests former president Thabo Mbeki is either being economical with the truth, is misinformed, the ANC leadership is incorrect or there was a breakdown in communication between the ANC and Mbeki or his foundation.
Mbeki had earlier denied a statement by ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe that “former presidents will start attending party events leading up to the 2019 elections”.
Mabe had made the comments during the ANC election workshop that was notably attended by former president Jacob Zuma, who has made it clear he intends to continue to work hard to campaign for his party despite his recent disappointment at being recalled as the president of the republic, the same fate Mbeki suffered in 2008.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule had earlier said at his own press conference that Mbeki, Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe were being invited to join election activities.
Mbeki has famously failed to campaign for the ANC since his recall as president by the then national executive committee that strongly supported Zuma.
In a statement on Saturday, Mbeki said he never received an invitation to attend the workshop.
However, the leaked letter, dated March 1 2018 and addressed directly to Mbeki by Magashule on an official ANC letterhead, suggests there may be more to the story.
Note: This story was originally published to say that the letter “suggests otherwise” on whether Mbeki was invited to attend any specific workshop.
It would have been more accurate not to make this conclusion, as the letter does not reference any particular workshop and Mbeki maintains he received no specific invitation.
The headline was also changed to reflect this.