Mabuza claims dirty tricks journalism

2012-02-25 16:12

A battle for Mpumalanga’s top political job has exposed one of the ANC’s favourite bugbears after a local political writer was accused of unethical journalism.

Health MEC Clifford Mkasi and the SA Communist Party (SACP) both complained to the editor of the Mpumalanga News after its reporter, Mbekezeli Mbuli, allegedly made up stories that aimed to rubbish Premier David Mabuza’s rivals and punt him as the right man for the job.

Mabuza is gunning for a second term as ANC provincial chairperson and premier. The ANC Youth League is backing Mkasi’s bid for premier, while the SACP, Cosatu and the Young Communist League have declared that they no longer support Mabuza.

The article that caused the drama was one in which Mbuli quoted a Professor Robert MacMillan criticising Mkasi and praising Mabuza.

MacMillan said: “Mkasi is nothing but a doctor who needs to go back to medicine and leave politics to the
real politicians.

“The only person who has proven to make things happen single-handedly is Mabuza.”

Professor MacMillan does not exist.

Mbuli told City Press that DA councillor Graverst Herbst set him up with MacMillan, but Herbst denied ever speaking to Mbuli or knowing the “professor”.

In another story, Mbuli wrote that the SACP was opposed to the youth league’s calls for new leadership. But Mbuli did not speak to the SACP and its provincial secretary, Bonakele Majuba, has complained to the Caxton newspaper, whose editor Bongani Hlatshwayo confirmed the complaints.

“We’re investigating (Mbuli). He’s not suspended, but is no longer doing political stories.”

Mkasi said a sinister agenda was afoot.

Majuba and ANC Youth League acting provincial secretary Clarence Maseko accused Mbuli and the paper of campaigning for Mabuza.

Mabuza’s spokesperson, Lebona Mosia, said he could only comment next week as officials were preparing the state of the province address.
Mbuli denied the allegations.

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