“Study the historian before you study the facts. The historian and the facts of history are necessary to one another. The historian without his facts is rootless and futile; the facts without the historian are dead and meaningless,” wrote EH Carr in his classic What is History.
In other words, history is not only what the facts say nor only what the historian writes. Rather, the interaction between the two, as well as context and interpretation, is what constitutes history. Therefore, not even Mbeki has the last word. As it always happens, it is possible that events of the past, present and future may impact on our history and how we interpret and experience it.