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DATE=11/15/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=ANGOLA / MBEKI (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-256166 BYLINE=ALEX BELIDA DATELINE=JOHANNESBURG CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: South African President Thabo Mbeki has rejected allegations that he had ever been detained in Angola in the early 1980s. He says they are totally false even though widely accepted as true in Angola. V-O-A Southern Africa Correspondent Alex Belida reports the rumors of Mr. Mbeki's jailing are often seen in Luanda as one reason for alleged tensions between his government and that of Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. TEXT: South African presidential spokesman Parks Mankahlana is categorical in his denial that Mr. Mbeki was ever detained in Angola. /// MANKAHLANA ACTUALITY /// It's totally untrue. Untrue. It never happened. /// END ACTUALITY /// Mr. Mankahlana tells V-O-A that the Secretary-General of Angola's ruling M-P-L-A party, Joao Laurenco, recently told South African authorities that he believes the Mbeki detention story was being circulated by Portugal's government. He says the Angolan party official described it as a disinformation plot designed to spoil relations between South Africa and Angola. /// MANKAHLANA ACTUALITY /// When the Secretary-General of the M-P-L-A came here about two months ago, the President asked him about these allegations and rumors, and he said, no, the Angolans have nothing to do with it. As far as they know, those are rumors spread by the Portuguese, that the reports originate from Lisbon and their understanding is that the Portuguese are anxious about good relations between South Africa and Angola. /// END ACTUALITY /// The stories of Mr. Mbeki's alleged detention in Angola vary but often appear in Angolan publications as fact. One version contends Mr. Mbeki, while working in exile for the African National Congress, was detained in 1983 for involvement in an alleged plot against then A-N-C leader Oliver Tambo. Another version claims Mr. Mbeki was imprisoned for protesting the alleged execution in Angola of 70 A-N-C trainees because they refused to fight Angola's UNITA rebels. South African officials claim relations between the two countries are good and that South Africa, under Mr. Mbeki, is committed to enforcement of United Nations sanctions against the Angolan rebels. Despite this, Angolan officials and state-controlled news media continue to suggest South Africa is somehow pro-UNITA and they accuse South Africa of playing a crucial role in the rebels' clandestine supply network. Angolan Deputy Foreign Minister Jorge Chicoti was quoted in September as saying relations were tense and as hinting that personality factors involving Mr. Mbeki's assumption of the presidency in South Africa were the cause. (Signed) NEB/BEL/JWH/JO 15-Nov-1999 06:19 AM EDT (15-Nov-1999 1119 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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