Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu has issued a scathing statement in response to a recent column penned by News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson.
In the piece, titled “Ramaphosa’s 3 biggest challenges right now“, Basson outlined the alleged hurdles President Cyril Ramaphosa will face in the coming months as “the Zuma camp regroups to undermine and ultimately unseat him”.
“His presidency is literally a threat to the livelihood of Magashule and his ilk. A stronger Ramaphosa will be met by an equally stronger opposition to undermine and hoodwink him at every turn,” wrote Basson.
He went on to cite a Sunday Independent report which claimed that Lindiwe Sisulu and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma were both waiting in the wings to take over from David Mabuza as deputy president.
“There are different versions of the back story to this, but one theory in the ANC is that Magashule and co are betting on Sisulu’s blind ambition to become president to unseat Ramaphosa. It is no secret that the relationship between Ramaphosa and Sisulu has been strained. Do not be surprised if she does not make it back to Cabinet,” added Basson.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Sisulu countered Basson’s column, labelling it “fictitious so-called theories on the ANC leadership”.
Sisulu added that “his theory is gathered from fake news and rumours meant to spread discord in the ANC”.
Media Statement concerning Mr Adriaan Basson's comments: pic.twitter.com/vhtDKxIulS
— Lindiwe Sisulu (@LindiweSisuluSA) May 14, 2019
Sisulu stated that she would be consulting her legal team regarding the matter but didn’t clarify to what end.
In a response sent to The Citizen, Basson stated: “Minister Sisulu is entitled to her opinion and so am I. The piece she refers to was an opinion piece I wrote, which is protected by the Press Code of South Africa. It wasn’t a news article on which I needed her comment.”