Johannesburg - The African National Congress has rejected the Sunday Times story titled "Exposed: Zuma plot to oust Cyril" as "sensational hot air".
"The ANC will not dignify these blatant lies and fabrications with a detailed response," spokesman Pule Mabe said on Sunday.
"However, we would like to point out that we refute this shameless gossip. We also reject attempts to link our secretary general cde Ace Magashule to this alleged plot to oust the president of the ANC cde Cyril Ramaphosa. It is clear that this malicious gossip is calculated to cast aspersions on the integrity and commitment of our secretary general to the unity and renewal project of the African National Congress," he said in a statement.
Magashule, like all other ANC leaders, was focused on the programme of uniting the party as mandated by the Nasrec national conference. Accordingly, Magashule and the entire ANC leadership collective rejected any attempts by "agents opposed to the ANC" to defocus them from the task of unity and renewal. The leadership collective regarded unity of the ANC as sacrosanct and would oppose any attempts to sow divisions within its ranks, Mabe said.
The ANC called on its members and the public at large not to be misled by this "factually baseless story".
"We are disappointed that the Sunday Times, in a very irresponsible and dangerous manner, proceeded to publish this misleading story. We urge the Sunday Times to immediately retract this story which is nothing but incoherent political gossip that has the potential to undermine the unity of the movement," he said.
The ANC supported freedom of the press, but believed that such freedom should be exercised with care and responsibility, Mabe said.
The report claimed that former president Jacob Zuma and his supporters were plotting to oust the current ANC leadership, particularly Ramaphosa.
African News Agency/ANA