ANC leader feels heat

2011-05-24 12:15

The ANC’s Nelson Mandela Bay regional chairperson, Nceba Faku, has vehemently denied that he called for the torching of The Herald newspaper’s offices.

In a scathing open letter to the Eastern Cape-based paper, Faku charged that the “Burn The Herald” article was driven by “intentional mischievous reporting”.

He said: “Burning down your building can never be on the cards. It can never be that I would call for actions of civil disobedience which would be unconstitutional and not in line with ANC policies.”

But The Herald said it stood by its report.

“We have had phone calls from members of the ANC who attended the victory rally at Vuyisile Mini Square who heard your speech, were shocked by your call to burn this newspaper and assured us that what you said was not supported by the ANC,” said the newspaper’s editor Heather Robertson.

According to The Herald, he made the inflammatory remarks at a victory rally after the governing party retained control of the hotly contested Nelson Mandela Bay metro.

At the same rally, Faku accused the paper of an anti-ANC agenda and a blatant bias in favour of the DA.

The ANC has distanced itself from the alleged comments.

Robertson has denied any bias on the part of the newspaper.

ANC provincial spokesperson Mlibo Qoboshiyane said the party was investigating matter.

“If it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that he said that, then there would have to be a sanction in the form of a retraction and apology (by Faku),” he said.

Qoboshiyane would not confirm or deny the possibility of the ANC charging Faku for bringing the name of the ANC into disrepute through his alleged utterances.

Luthuli House is also looking into the matter.

ANC national executive committee member and spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said there were two conflicting versions, hence the need for a thorough probe.

The SA National Editors Forum has expressed its “deep shock and concern” over the reported call by Faku.

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