Cape Town - A parliament official and other media have accused the Daily Voice, IOL’s sister publication, of making up stories.
This after pictures of graffiti that read “Zuma makes me wet” on a Parliament wall were published.
Now other newspapers and internet news sites have called the story a “hoax” and there are allegations that the Voice manipulated the picture in Photoshop.
On Monday parliamentary spokesman Luzuko Jacobs said he could not find any evidence of the graffiti, but by then the cheeky message had been painted over.
But the Daily Voice stands by its picture and the story, which istrue.
On Tuesday witnesses said the vandalism was visible for at least 48 hours.
Diana James and her husband Andre spotted the graffiti on Saturday morning.
“We saw it and my husband posed for the picture in front of the wall, then we posted that picture on Twitter,” she said.
“I posted it on Instagram and a journalist that works at Parliament posted a similar picture.”
On hearing the news of the “hoax” claims, Andre tweeted: “Denial is not a river in Egypt #Zumamakesmewet”
Daily Voice Deputy Editor Elliott Sylvester spotted the graffiti on Sunday morning and sent photographer Nicholas Abrahams to the scene.
“I can say with 100 percent certainty that the image published in the Daily Voice is not Photoshopped or a hoax of any kind,” said Sylvester.
“I saw the black lettering on the wall while on my way to the office on Sunday morning and sent Nicholas to capture a few images.”
Abrahams confirmed that he took the images on Sunday morning.
“When I got there I saw someone already taking a picture,” said Abrahams.
“It is definitely real,” he added.
The next day, Parliament spokesman Jacobs told City Press he had assembled the police and inspected the perimeter, and could not find the graffiti.
But by then it had already been painted over.
“[There is] absolutely no evidence of such tasteless act of vandalism on the front wall,” said Jacobs.
When the Daily Voice spoke to Jacobs on Sunday about the graffiti, he had no knowledge of it, he said he was attending to family business and could not inspect the vandalism.
Sylvester adds: “Anyone who bothered to look hard enough at the scene can still find the evidence of it being covered up. The Daily Voice stands by its story.”
On Tuesday the Daily Voice team visited the scene again.
The black lettering is still faintly visible and there are clear signs a fresh coat of paint has been applied over it.
Passerby Avile Njilo, 23, said the writing is still visible under a fresh coat of paint.
“It’s here, I can see it. I can see that it’s hidden under the fresh coat of paint and the paint on the walls close by aren’t as clean and white as the paint over this piece.”Daily Voice