Giovedì, 18 Febbraio 2016 20:45

<div> | US ambassador makes light of Mantashe's 'regime change' claims</div>

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Johannesburg - US ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard, took a tongue-in-cheek approach in his response to allegations that his embassy was trying to influence regime change in the country.

Speaking at

an anti-racism march in Pretoria on Friday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe accused the US Embassy of meeting daily to advance regime change in South Africa.

Gaspard took to Twitter in response to Mantashe's allegations.

"I wish that someone would invite me to these meetings. Let's not blame others for our own challenges," he wrote.

In a second tweet he said: "I'm so disappointed as I always imagined that if I organised a coup it would look like Mardi Gras - food, music, dance."

You get a coup d'état and you get a coup d'état and you get a coup d'état! Everybody gets a coup!!!!

— Ambassador Gaspard (@patrickgaspard) February 19, 2016

Mantashe accused the embassy of taking people to the United States for six weeks and then bringing them back to the South Africa and planting them on campuses.

He was referring to the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which was part of the Young African Leadership Initiative.

It's called Mandela Washington Fellowship.Hundreds of brilliant young South Africans have been in. It ain't a secret

— Ambassador Gaspard (@patrickgaspard) February 19, 2016

According to the website, President Barack Obama announced the the Young African Leadership Initiative in 2010. Its aim was to support young African leaders, to help strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across Africa.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship started in 2014.

Gaspard said Mantashe should know of the programme since he had invited the ANC leader to recommend young ANC leaders for it.

Well, he should be "aware" of this program since I personally invited him to recommend young ANC leaders for it...

— Ambassador Gaspard (@patrickgaspard) February 19, 2016
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