A government official and a journalist almost came to blows at a press conference hosted by Mpumalanga traditional affairs MEC Madala Masuku in Nelspruit, according to a report on Tuesday.
The Sowetan reported that head of department David Mahlobo was angered by questions posed by Ziwaphi newspaper reporter Tom Nkosi at the briefing on Monday.
Nkosi asked whether the department would make public a report explaining allegations that three senior African National Congress politicians were behind service delivery protests in Mpumalanga.
Mahlobo accused the reporter of "having an agenda and hiding behind journalism".
Another journalist, Buks Viljoen, said to Mahlobo: "So Tom is hiding behind journalism, and you are hiding behind blue lights and bodyguards?"
Mahlobo allegedly made violent threats to Nkosi, who responded: "I will beat you up, together with your bodyguard."
Masuku and the department's spokesman Simphiwe Kunene apologised to the media.