Johannesburg - The ANC says it rejects rumours that its secretary-general Gwede Mantashe was targeted for removal from his position at the party's special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend.
The party said in a statement on Monday that the rumours were being spread to cause division and confusion within the party. It attacked the media for what it calls "lazy reporting" on the matter.
"(The ANC) unequivocally dismisses claims made by nameless and faceless sources that there are discussions underway to remove from his position the Secretary General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe. These rumours are peddled to sow confusion and division within the movement and are indicative of the media’s laziness and total disregard for proper journalistic ethics in favor of populism and sensationalism," said ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.
The rumours emerged at the weekend as the party's NEC meets in Centurion for a special meeting. The meeting is expected to end on Monday.
It was being reported that Mantashe faced rebuke from some members of the NEC who were calling for his removal.
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu also labelled the rumours of Mantahse's removal as "fake news".
Mantashe has been named in Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's slate for the party's elective conference next month. Ramaphosa encouraged supports at a rally a week ago to nominate Mantashe as national chairperson.
He also announced Naledi Pandor to be nominated as deputy president - a move that shocked many.
Following Ramaphosa's revelation of his slate, Mantashe issued a warning to ANC members not pronounce on their preferred slates.
The party said the focus of NEC meeting was to focus on the draft organisational report to be presented at the elective conference next month.