06/02/2018 11:00 GMT | Updated 06/02/2018 11:06 GMT

Thabo Mbeki Is Still SA's President (Well, According To This Government Website)

A section on the international relations department website has not been updated for the duration of the Zuma administration.

Stringer / Reuters
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

A page on the website of the department of international relations and cooperation, relating to the United Arab Emirates, has not been updated since Thabo Mbeki was state president and Ebrahim Rasool was the premier of Western Cape.

The website states: "The current President of SA Mr. Thabo Mbeki visited the UAE in March 2000 (sic)."

Mbeki stepped down from his position almost 10 years ago.

Despite the country's strong ties with the Arab state, this incorrect information is still floating on the internet as if it were happening in current-day South Africa.


Department of international relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the website was not "functional", despite HuffPost SA having no trouble accessing it.

"That website is not functional and hasn't been for a while, hence the old information. The consulate is in the process of developing a new, updated one," Monyela told HuffPost.

UAE-South Africa relations

The UAE is the sixth-largest supplier of oil to South Africa, and we remain an important source of goods for the various emirates making up the union.

There are many South Africans who are based in the country, who are welcomed as "skilled" and "bringing a valuable contribution to UAE".

Formal diplomatic relations between South Africa and the UAE were established in 1994, after the minister of foreign affairs in the UAE, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan, visited SA for Nelson Mandela's inauguration as president.