- Thabo Mbeki recently claimed that the British had been considering invading Zimbabwe in order to dethrone Robert Mugabe
- Peter Hain, then Labour Africa Minister, has strongly denied the allegations dubbing it 'fantasy'
- However, the former president is adamant that the late Mugabe had been under threat from the nation under Tony Blair
Former president Thabo Mbeki recently told attendants at a memorial for Robert Mugabe that the British had wanted to remove the ex-president of Zimbabwe at all costs.
Briefly.co.za reported that Mbeki had claimed this desire had been so fierce that the nation was contemplating invading Zimbabwe in order to achieve it.
This has attracted denial from Peter Hain, who served as Labour Africa Minister under then-leader Tony Blair.
In reaction to Mbeki's claims of a western conspiracy to dethrone the now-late Mugabe from power, Hain commented that:
"I was Labour Africa Minister under Tony Blair 1999-2001 and my comrade Thabo is wrong: there never was a UK planned invasion of Zimbabwe: its fantasy."
During his address, Mbeki had lauded Mugabe as a 'fellow combatant' who had massively contributed to South Africa's liberation.
The ANC veteran had credited Mugabe with allowing the ruling party to operate during the height of 'intense hostility' from the apartheid regime, assisting with the birth of democracy in the country.
The former Zimbabwean leader's contribution had been so great, explained Mbeki, that he had delayed his own country's land reform programme by ten years to allow for successful negotiations.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!