Mamphela Ramphele. File picture: Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg - An Agang SA Gauteng faction is behind accusations made against its leader Mamphela Ramphele over a bank account opened for an IEC refund, the party said on Tuesday.

“Agang SA rejects this claim as defamatory and without foundation, and reserves the right to pursue its rights and its president's rights in this matter,” interim national spokesman Philip Machanick said in a statement.

There was currently an ongoing investigation into a separate matter, involving former national executive committee (NEC) member Andrew Gasnolar.

Gasnolar allegedly used forged signatures to set up a bank account to receive around R65 000 from the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

“There is no evidence that Dr Ramphele is in any way implicated in this matter,” said Machanick.

“Gasnolar gave a full explanation of this matter to Agang MP Andries Tloumma on Wednesday, 11 June, so there is no excuse for the continued publication of this erroneous version of events by the Gauteng faction.”

Machanick said he had temporarily taken over from national spokesman Mark Peach while the party's NEC was being re-constituted.

Eye Witness News reported on Monday that Ramphele had been given 48 hours to resign pending a probe over the account.

The broadcaster reported that seven of the party's nine provincial branches met on Sunday afternoon to table a motion of no-confidence against Ramphele.

Peach, in an e-mail to Sapa on Monday, said the meeting calling for Mamphele's resignation was held by a small group of disaffected members and was unconstitutional.

The members were mainly drawn from a small segment of one of five regions in Gauteng, who had previously publicly attacked Ramphele.

“As per her statement released on Friday, Dr Ramphele has no intention to leave the party.”

Peach said some of those who attended Sunday's unsanctioned meeting could face disciplinary action. Ramphele retained the confidence of most Agang SA members and regions.

On Friday, Ramphele said the time had come to rebuild the party from the roots up to successfully contest the 2016 local government and 2019 national elections.

Ramphele expected there would be suspensions from the party as some members were indulging in “selfish and self-centred behaviour”.

Those who tarnished her reputation as president would be disciplined.

“Anyone who continues to participate in these factional activities, including meetings not sanctioned by my office will define themselves as acting outside the interest of Agang and will be treated accordingly,” she said.

On Friday, Ramphele opened a case of fraud with police involving the account.

This followed another fraud case opened at the Centurion police station by the party's chairman Mike Tshishonga for the same reason.

Peach told Sapa on Friday: “Mamphela also opened a case to find out who opened this account and how it came to be.

“Mike and Mamphela would both like to know the circumstances around this account.”

The account was set up to receive a refund from the IEC following the May 7 general election.