Secretary-general of the ANC Ace Magashule. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - Ace Magashule, the secretary general of the ANC has accused some elements in the media of fighting factional political battles and for working with individuals who are using state resources in a bid to try and tarnish his name.

This was after a journalist at a Sunday paper (City Press) sent questions on Thursday evening allegedly implicating him in the murder of a doctor whose name is known to IOL.  

Magashule said he wants the public to see what he has been complaining about.

“This is the fake news that is peddled against me in order to tarnish my dignity and reputation in a coordinated and concerted effort,” he said.

He also relayed how last week, a Daily Maverick columnist wrote that he was arrested at his home by members of the Hawks.

“The article was crafted in such a manner that even the SABC’s Chriselda Lewis was quoted as observing my alleged arrest by the Hawks. These were all fake news. I am certain that the rank and file of the ANC are now able to see the decoy that is crafted from the proven evidence of political meddling at the Nasrec elective conference of the ANC,” he said.

Magashule added that he was appalled by the fact that some within our society are using the State resources which are supposed to be used in the fight against crime, but for factional political battles.

“I condemn this fake news with the contempt that it deserves. I am also aware that there are rogue elements within the South African Police Services who are used not only to tarnish the entire police force but also to sow divisions within the ANC. I state categorically that I will not leave this matter lying down,” he said.

Magashule said he has since instructed his attorneys to lodge complaints with the office of the National Commissioner as well as the Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence.

“I would like a full investigation to be carried out so that those who are peddling lies with the aim of destroying the carefully nurtured unity of the ANC can be exposed. These elements within our society are planting seeds within our people’s minds that I, and the collective leadership of the ANC consist of criminals who maim and kill for political survival,” he said.

This is not the first time that the City Press has ran a false story implicating a top politician in murder. Towards the end of last year, the paper ran a story peddled to the media by private investigator Paul O’Sullivan which claimed that a witness had found Deputy President David Mabuza’s hit list in his living room. The paper published the far-fetched story based on an affidavit purported to be from his niece.  

According to Magashule: “The ANC leadership shall not be deterred from its goals to pursue radical transformation for the liberation of our people from the bondage of apartheid.”

“I will, however in the interim reserve my rights to also lodge a complaint with the Minister of Police to ensure that his dedicated men and women are not used in these factional political battles… have no intention to breathe oxygen into this rubbish. The agent provocateurs are desperately and pathetically looking for a needle in a haystack. Lies have short legs,” he said.

IOL