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Former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, has died of COVID-19.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation slammed the death rumors of Thabo Mbeki, claiming that the reports are false. The former president is alive.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki died from COVID-19, according to a hoax message provided by a person posing as a News24 staffer. Trisha Takanowa, impersonating as a News24 journalist, issued fake breaking news on WhatsApp, claiming that Mbeki died after four days of combating the COVID-19. This WhatsApp message was widely being circulated.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation informed News24, an English-language South African online news publication, that the message was fake and that Mbeki was still alive. Siyabulela Gebe, a spokesman for the Foundation, denounced the reports, claiming that the former president is in perfect health. Moreover, according to News24, there is no journalist named Trisha Takanowa who works for them.

On June 26, 2021, the Foundation wrote on Twitter, "President Thabo Mbeki is currently live''' and he was ''delivering the 2021 Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture. The lecture is also live on YouTube". The former president addressed the memorial lecture and reflected on the 66-year-old Freedom Charter, which was ratified in Kliptown, Soweto.

Mbeki seemed to be in excellent health in photos posted on Facebook from the ceremony. Hence the claim that Mbeki died of COVID-19 is baseless.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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