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Mthembu to approach Ombudsman over Sunday Times caucus story

Politics
Cape Town – African National Congress chief whip Jackson Mthembu will lay a complaint against the Sunday Times with the Press Ombudsman over an article on Sunday claiming that "ANC MPs dumped a proposal that the ANC parliamentary caucus should come up with its own resolution to determine President Jacob Zuma's fate", Mthembu's office said.

"The story by Sunday Times journalist Babalo Ndenze claims that this happened after the party's national executive committee (NEC) instructed ANC MPs to vote against the motion of no confidence in the president," Mthembu's office said in a statement on Sunday.

"This story is highly misleading and deliberately out of context. The ANC caucus has never resolved to have its own motion on President Zuma. This claim is therefore a complete fabrication," it said.

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ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/Independent Media

Furthermore, in Mthembu's interview he specifically informed the journalist that the caucus discussed the upcoming National Assembly motion of no confidence in Zuma in a caucus meeting attended by the national chairperson, the secretary general, the deputy secretary general, and the treasurer general of the ANC.

This caucus meeting was called as a consequence of some MPs expressing their views on the matter and for the caucus to reach a conclusion on the matter.

In this meeting with the ANC leadership, the caucus was resolute that it would never vote for any motion proposed by the opposition that sought to remove the president of the country, who was also the president of the ANC.

"MPs also reaffirmed that the ANC parliamentary caucus remains a caucus of the ANC and takes directive from the NEC. The Sunday Times article is therefore not only disingenuous and mischievous, but it is in fact also inaccurate. The ANC chief whip takes serious exception to this kind of journalism and urges the media to report accurately on interviews conducted.

"What is most disappointing is that this is the second time the Sunday Times has falsely reported on an interview conducted with the ANC chief whip since he came into office in May 2016. The ANC chief whip is therefore left with no other option but to lay a complaint against the Sunday Times with the Press Ombudsman," the statement said.

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