ANC Women's League secretary general Meokgo Matuba has issued an on-air apology to a journalist for reportedly sending her a picture of a gun in an apparent attempt to intimidate her.
This follows a report in the Sunday Times by the journalist, Qaanitah Hunter, and her colleague, Jeff Wicks, claiming there were plans by former president Jacob Zuma and his allies to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa and that these were discussed at a meeting in Durban last week.
Hunter said she received threatening messages from Matuba and claimed that Matuba sent her a picture of a gun.
Hunter apparently received the threat after she called Matuba and asked her questions about the meeting.
Speaking to EWN, Matuba still denied sending the image.
"Actually no, I didn’t send a gun to Qaanitah. If it’s her take that I sent the gun to intimidate her, my sincere apologies."
Matuba claimed that she did not know who sent the picture as she shared her phone "with many people".
The Sunday Times report revealed that Zuma held the secret meeting with ANC secretary general Ace Magashule‚ former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo‚ Matuba, and ANC Youth League KwaZulu-Natal secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo at the Maharani Hotel in Durban on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Magashule denied that a plot to remove Ramaphosa was discussed during a meeting he had with Zuma in Durban.
He denied that there was no "plot" and said only the media claimed there was one. He also said he never denied meeting Zuma.
On Monday, the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) condemned the threats levelled against Hunter.
"We believe these threats have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and access to information. This behaviour is particularly worrying in the lead up to our critical national elections in 2019," Sanef said in a statement.