The governing ANC has rubbished a Mail & Guardian report claiming there are tensions between President Jacob Zuma and Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, said ANC spokesprson Zizi Kodwa in a statement on Friday.
“The African National Congress dismisses with the contempt they deserve reports… claiming a ‘rift’ between ANC President, Comrade Jacob Zuma, and the secretary-general, Comrade Gwede Mantashe,” said Kodwa.
“The national officials of the African National Congress function as a cohesive and principled organisation in the execution of their duties at the helm of the organisation.”
Earlier today, the M&G reported tensions between Zuma and Mantashe were intensifying, and Mantashe was increasingly being sidelined and marginalised. The newspaper quoted sources from the party’s national executive committee as saying the cause of the tension was Zuma’s attempts to “save his legacy” and “get more friends.”
Kodwa said the report was “devoid of any truth and a continuation of an age-old attempt to sow division and distrust within the ANC and its leadership.”
He accused M&G of reporting non-existent issues and allegations instead of reporting the good work being done by the government.
“It is the result of calculated acts at the whim of an opportunistic and malicious media, ignoring to tell our people genuine stories of development and progress, instead choosing made-up versions and fishing expeditions from faceless and nameless sources — gutter journalism at its best,” he said.
Kodwa further questioned the motives behind the story and wondered if it was one of “entrenching the racist narrative of a failing state led by incapable, incompetent and self-serving Africans.”
“These determined efforts to pit comrade against comrade have dismally failed before and will no doubt fail once again. The Mail & Guardian has abandoned all principles of the SA Press Code and the very ethics of objective journalism to become a propaganda pamphlet masquerading as a newspaper,” he added.
M&G deputy editor Moshoeshoe Monare lambasted the ANC for using the race card in their argument. He said it was unacceptable to criticise the article when it was written by a black reporter.