ANC members who leak stories to the media anonymously are like apartheid spies, the Eastern Cape branch of the party said on Wednesday.
“Anonymous and nameless people who leak information to the media hurt our ANC [in] the same way apartheid government spies - planted to infiltrate our movement - hurt our liberation struggle and our movement,” provincial secretary Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane said in a statement.
“At times leaked information is false, framed in an incorrect, selfish and malicious manner, bandied to unsuspecting journalist who adapt to it like [a] dove adapts to water without even verifying it with the ANC or even getting our side.”
He said some journalists viewed information from an unnamed source as “gospel truth”.
“Such a conduct by some journalists doesn't do much to distinguish their conduct from that of [the] apartheid police, who planted these enemy agents in our camps, killing scores of our people.
“If the media is to be respected in playing its role, journalists must start respecting their profession by doing their work in a professional, fair, and balanced manner, that doesn't disrespect our ANC.”
The party hoped members did not leak information on what was being discussed during closed sessions at the ANC policy conference in Midrand.
“Any person who leaks information to the media is ill-disciplined and doesn't respect the ANC,” Mabuyane said.
Wednesday marked the second day of the conference at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. Delegates would spend the first half of the day in commissions discussing strategy and tactics, the second transition, and organisational renewal. After lunch, members would split into 11 commissions to discuss the ANC's other policy documents.
All commissions were closed to the media.
On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma told reporters at the conference that the party must get involved in debates around itself.
“The ANC has been discussed left, right and centre, in the morning, afternoon, evening and all other times... With time, people are going to get used to inaccurate facts about the ANC,” Zuma said.
“Our view is that some people who discuss the ANC do not know the ANC. They do have views about the ANC and interpretations about the ANC...[and] at times their interpretations are not accurate.” - Sapa