Mbeki defends letter meant for 'Zuma's eyes only'

File image of Thabo Mbeki. The former president has responded to criticism from President Jacob Zuma about a letter penned to him. Photo: AFP PHOTO / EBRAHIM HAMID

JOHANNESBURG - Former president Thabo Mbeki says the letter he wrote to President Jacob Zuma last week, was meant for his eyes only.

READ: Mbeki urges Zuma to listen to stalwarts

In a statement, Mbeki says the letter was hand delivered to ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe at Luthuli House.

Mbeki insists the concerns he raised were never meant for public consumption.

In the letter, he urges the president to engage with 101 ANC veterans, who've raised serious concerns about the state of the country.

WATCH: ANC stalwarts react to State of Capture report

Mbeki says he hopes the ANC leadership will still take the contents of the note seriously, as they have wider national implications.

Over the weekend President Zuma told crowds in eDumbe in KwaZulu-Natal that he hadn't received the letter, yet it's already being analysed by others.

READ: 'I'm not afraid of jail': Zuma

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