WATCH: How clever editing makes it look like Mbeki is saying something he’s not

In the lead-up to the ANC's elective conference people have put words into the former president's mouth – basically by removing words from an old video.

An old AP video being sent around on social media appears to show Thabo Mbeki telling an audience in 2007 that there is no tradition of the ANC deputy president succeeding the president as leader of the party.

However, when you look at the unedited version, Mbeki was clearly talking about there being no tradition of the ANC president automatically going on to become the president of South Africa.

The deceptive edited video appears to be the product of “Poli Tricks” (that alone should be a giveaway). It cleverly distorts what Mbeki was actually talking about at the time by posing a false question (“Does Deputy President automatically succeed President”) that he seems to then be answering.

The question of whether the ANC actually has a tradition of the deputy succeeding the president has been the product of much debate of late, ever since Cosatu first called for this “tradition” to be “respected” in its support of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign. Other Ramaphosa supporters, including Gwede Mantashe and Jackson Mthembu, have since spoken out about how they also believe in this tradition.

The supporters of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma have said such talk is nonsense and President Jacob Zuma himself said earlier this year that it had merely been a coincidence that both he and Mbeki had ascended to the presidency after serving as deputy president.

As it is, we still don’t really know whether Mbeki thinks the ANC has a tradition of deputies succeeding presidents. Maybe he does. Perhaps someone should ask him if we really feel we need to know.

Watch the video below:



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African National Congress (ANC) Mbeki

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