Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has decided not to weigh in on the book Gangster State, by investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh, which claims to place ANC secretary general Ace Magashule at the centre of a state-capture network while he was premier of the Free State.
Magashule was Free State premier until December 2017.
Last week Mboweni tweeted that he would read and study the book over the weekend and give his opinion by Monday.
On Monday evening the finance minister tweeted that he had "read, studied and reflected" on the book, but would not be sharing his views "given that it raises too many potential legal issues".
He suggested that people should rather read the book themselves and make up their own minds.
The ANC has condemned the book. In a statement last week in reaction to the book, the party's spokesperson Dakota Legoete referred to it as a "dubious book" saying it was "timed for publication barely a month before our national elections in order to try and inflict the maximum damage against the Secretary General of the ANC".
- BOOK EXTRACT: Gangster State – The ANC's asbestos benefits
The ANC then appeared to be on the cusp of retracting the initial statement, only to backtrack again to say it would not be retracted as the party had lodged a complaint with the Press Council, which could end up before the courts.
The book's publisher, Penguin Random House, has said it will not withdraw the book amid political pressure, News24 reported previously.
I have read, studied and reflected on @PLMyburgh’s book. Given that it raises too many potential legal issues, I have elected not to publish my views. Go read it and make up your mind. Over and out.— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) April 8, 2019