Cape Town - DA leader Helen Zille said on Sunday that claims she had reportedly said she'd "made" Lindiwe Mazibuko and had on several occasions "saved" her, are a concoction of leaks from the party's Fedex meeting.
Mazibuko last week resigned as parliamentary leader of the party to study at Harvard University.
Zille said in a newsletter on the DA's website that the Sunday Times story was misleadingly designed to make it appear as if it is based on a public attack by her against Mazibuko.
"The story has been concocted by twisting selective leaks from the DA’s Federal Executive meeting, in which, inevitably, Lindiwe’s decision to go to Harvard University, and the implications of her decision, were discussed.
"At the meeting, I answered questions dispassionately and accurately. We also discussed the problem of selective leaks from the Fedex to advance personal agendas in the DA’s succession race."It is a convention not to speak out of Federal Executive, Zille added.
"But given that a few members of the Fedex have chosen to ignore this convention, I must set out the facts."
Zille said that she, in response to a question by Athol Trollip, had conceded that she had worked very hard to promote Mazibuko's career.
"I did not say I 'made' her.
"And I did not say I 'saved' her. I certainly did not say that she would be 'nothing without me', as the Sunday Times headline falsely claims."
Zille said at no stage in the Fedex meeting did she launch any “scathing attack” on Mazibuko.
"I simply put the facts on the table."
Zille said it was concerning that some media platforms were being abused by so-called journalists and columnists who were embedded in a particular faction of the DA.
"It is time to draw a line in the sand. In the DA we will discuss how best to deal with the issue of individuals driving distorted factional agendas through their allies in the press.
"If those media houses that harbour journalists with factional agendas want to protect their own credibility, they will also look at ways to stop their publications from being abused."
Zille said she would be requesting meetings with the editors of the Business Day and the Sunday Times to discuss the way forward with them.