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Thabo Mbeki’s Facebook page

I bet you are wondering if our country’s First Citizen has ventured into the world of Web 2.0 during his late-night browsings. Well, I can confirm that he has. After tracking him down on Facebook, I asked him if he would be my friend. Wouldn’t you just know it, but he agreed. So I grabbed a shot of his page, and left … a bit of a hit-and-run exercise, but I thought you might want a peek at it.

[Click here for the full version]



  • Tony is a corporate animal but it wasn't always so. He used to work in the media, with a specific interest in technology; travel; music; and getting free stuff. He doesn't consider himself a thought leader, although he does confess to having thoughts. He presents the M&G's weekly podcast.


  1. Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen 1 October 2007

    The President does not have a ‘likeness’ application? :)

  2. Dale Imerman Dale Imerman 1 October 2007

    Haha, that’s classic – I love it.

  3. Janine Wichmann Janine Wichmann 2 October 2007

    Well, it’s no news that many politicians abroad have Facebook accounts. Even the Swedish Foreign Minister joined the world of Facebook. Read more at

  4. Sarah Britten Sarah Britten 2 October 2007

    A couple of months back, I took a screenshot of a Facebook page in which Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma were friends. There are, or have been several different pages for both. Some, like the one above, are obvious spoofs. But a couple look like they were either set up by supporters of Mbeki and Zuma respectively, or someone in their offices.

  5. Rendani Rendani 2 October 2007

    Love it, absolutely hilarious.

  6. Riaan Wolmarans Riaan Wolmarans 2 October 2007

    Can one measure one’s success by the number of spoof Facebook profiles in one’s name?

  7. Johan Lotz Johan Lotz 2 October 2007

    What are you doing Mr President? We can not allow the likeness of a Mr Zuma with his socialist communist support base to get into power that will destroy all you and Mr Mandela worked for.The wold class respect Mr Mandela enjoys can not be exchanged for the alleged corrupt image of Mr Zuma. With Mr Shabir Schaik found guilty of corrruption involving MrZuma
    in his corrupt dealings. I can not understand how the receiver of the corrupt monies can be not guilty of Corruption How will the nation ever have respect for a leader like that?

  8. Garrett Garrett 6 October 2007

    Now THAT is funny!

  9. Angela Impey Angela Impey 8 October 2007

    Oh my gosh, this is really funny! Well done, it’s brilliant!

  10. Clint Clint 8 October 2007

    I had never heard of this website, until I got this via email. WOW, its been a long, long time since I’ve laughed so hard!!!

  11. Richard Catto Richard Catto 9 October 2007

    Actually, this is not at all funny. has a strict policy (in its Terms and Conditions) against making fake profiles.

    Facebook encourages people to report fake profiles on facebook. One facebook account parodying Manto has already been closed.

    Thabo Mbeki’s fakers will follow suit too, as soon as facebook receives reports advising them that the profile is fake.

    I suggest that immediately ceases laughing at instances of Internet Abuse.

    It’s not funny.

    If these commenters want to laugh at Internet Abuse, let them create their own asinine blogs where they and their low class friends can laugh like hyenas.

    They will not laugh when it is THEM being made fun of online. Essentially, they’re total hypocrites and everything they say is worthless.

  12. Angela Impey Angela Impey 9 October 2007

    Oh Richard, laugh a little man, if you can’t poke fun at life, what can you poke fun at? You’re starting to sound just like GOV-OR-MENT! ie; Shut up or we shut you up!

  13. Matt Matt 9 October 2007

    Methinks the satire is lost on Richard…

  14. Angela Impey Angela Impey 9 October 2007

    True! Actually, Lets all laugh at Richard! – Classic flyover there…like WAY over.

  15. Richard Catto Richard Catto 9 October 2007

    FaceBook doesn’t want satirical (aka fake) profiles. Not respecting that amounts to an abuse of their system. It’s a computer crime actually.

    Just wait until YOU are the object of a fake profile. Someone creates a profile pretending to be you and starts contacting people in your name.

    I tell you again, this is no laughing matter. What you consider to be light hearted fun has an evil flip side where real damage is done (and is being done) to real people by people who think they’re being funny, or worse – people who’s aim is malevolent.

    Then watch google light up with slander when your name is googled. Google my name for an example of this. I can’t convince some sites to take down the junk that has been posted about me.

  16. Mel Mel 9 October 2007

    Wow! This facebook profile is brilliant! Lighten up Richard, it’s just a joke! Ten points for finding it Tony.

  17. Dale Imerman Dale Imerman 9 October 2007

    Well, I think it’s greatly amusing and anyone who takes it seriously needs a wake up call – we all know Thabo’s real Facebook page has him sporting a Bafana cap and a stogie!

    Tony – your screen grab has found its way into my email box several times now from different sources. You may need to start screening your calls for the Scorpions!

  18. Angela Impey Angela Impey 9 October 2007

    Well Tony, it was FUNNY till Richard joined the party…. bah humbug

  19. Angela Impey Angela Impey 9 October 2007

    Ha,Ha, I think Rich must be American, I sense that whole angst and getting ready to sue vibe going on…

  20. Tony Lankester Tony Lankester Post author | 9 October 2007

    Richard – Yes, identity theft is a real problem and is no joke. This Thoughtleader spoof is not identity theft. Not even close.

    The Thabo Mbeki page is clearly a spoof. The “page” doesn’t actually exist – it is a photoshopped reproduction. There are plenty of clues in the image itself, here are some of them:
    – There is no Facebook application called “Voodoo” – it is something I made up and put on the spoof page
    – Everyone who uses Facebook knows that Pokes don’t appear on your profile page – the fact that they do here is for humorous effect, but had to be pasted in with Photoshop.
    – The wall posts are all fictional
    – Most of the items in the mini-feed are fictional.
    – All of the friends are pasted in
    – Facebook doesn’t have something called “blocked groups”
    – I am not a graphic designer so check closely and you’ll see some basic graphic design errors – the fonts differ here and there; the colours aren’t consistent; the spaces between the lines are not consistent. An automatically presented Facebook page, running off a stylesheet, wouldn’t have those inconsistencies.

    OK, so now we’ve established that the image is just a photoshopped image, and not a real page on Facebook, clearly your contention that a law has been broken here is just plain wrong. Unless you change tack and say I’ve somehow infringed on Facebook’s copyright by using their logo in a parody. And if their lawyers want to say that or take exception to it, then they’re welcome to. I suspect, though, that they’ll see it for what it is: a harmless parody.

    Yes, there is a fake Thabo Mbeki Facebook page that I registered to get the original template for this image. But no user visiting it or being accepted as a friend on it would seriously believe for a second that it was the real Thabo Mbeki. The silly hat is a clue. If Facebook close it down because it violates their terms and conditions, that’s really ok with me, it’s their prerogative. And, err, none of your business.

    But to say that a spoof such as this commits some sort of crime or is a door-opener to other abuse is nonsensical. A bit like saying a Zapiro cartoon pretends to be the real person; or the Spitting Image puppets could fool people into believing they were real. Both, like this “Facebook page”, are creaed to amuse.

    If they fail to amuse you, I’ll have to live with the feeling of failure. I’m sure I’ll manage.

    Back in your box, now.

  21. Angela Impey Angela Impey 9 October 2007

    Ha,ha, hahaaaaaaaa, just when I thought I couldn’t laugh any more – Well done Tony, I think Rich has just been SUPER POKED! Let’s throw sheep at him!

  22. Richard Catto Richard Catto 9 October 2007

    Tony, to be frank, I didn’t inspect your picture that closely.

    So you went to a whole bunch of trouble to construct a fake image?


    You’re a funny guy.

  23. Eric van Dyk Eric van Dyk 1 June 2008

    Nice Tony my man, I like nothing more than visual parodies. Your page is very funny and I would like to see more such pages of celebrities!Poor Richard, please get some vaseline and undo that knot in your panties. I am sure that if a thing such as Tony’s page of Mbeki is such a “crime” that you fight other “crimes” too? Do you run around shopping malls tucking peoples t-shirts in? Or do you refuse to listen to a copied cd or to watch ripped DVD’s? Damn Richard, it is such a jungle out there!

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