The Thabo Mbeki Foundation has rubbished a WhatsApp message, by a person purporting to be from News24, which claims the former president has succumbed to Covid-19 after battling the virus for the past four days.
In the fake breaking news WhatsApp message being widely distributed, Trisha Takanowa claims to be a journalist from News24.
The message reads: “BREAKING NEWS: ex-president Thabo Mbeki has just passed away of the COVID 19 virus after battling it for the past 4 days. The ex-president passed away in his Killarney residence which he was being treated from, says his wife Zanele Dlamini Mbeki. ~news 24/ reporter: Trisha takanowa [sic]”
No person by the name of “Trisha Takanowa” works at News24.
Foundation spokesperson Siyabulela Gebe rubbished the reports as fake.
“There is no such [thing]. The former president is perfectly well.
“On Saturday, he delivered the Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture. This [fake report] is something that doesn’t warrant any airtime. Mbeki is perfectly okay. I spoke to him an hour ago.”
Gebe urged people to refrain from spreading fake news.