Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says he will read and study the book Gangster State, which places ANC secretary general Ace Magashule at the centre of a state-capture network while he was premier of the Free State. The ANC has condemned the book.
The minister on Tuesday evening tweeted that the book - which has the full title: Gangster State: Unraveling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture - makes readers jump to a conclusion before actually reading the book.
He promised an opinion on the book, authored by investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh, by Monday.
"These fake news stories, and the dubious book that they are based on, are 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. It is evidently the opening propaganda salvo, in a carefully planned Stratcom operation to unfold in the coming days and weeks against comrade Magashule and the ANC, using the launch of Myburgh’s book today, and the lies that it peddles, as the basis for a vicious character assassination campaign," spokesperson Dakota Legoete said in a statement.
"The ANC sees this highly personalised and vicious attack on our Secretary General as a direct and well-calculated attack not only on the person of the Secretary General, but in fact on the office of the Secretary General, which is the administrative engine room of the ANC and as such critical for our election campaign efforts. Evidently the Secretary General of the ANC, as the CEO of the ANC, is the main target," the statement read.
The book's publisher, Penguin Random House, has said it will not withdraw the book amid political pressure, News24 reported.