The Cape Town Press Club has condemned an alleged "threat" via the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) against a Sunday Times journalist.
A photograph of a gun was sent from a phone used by the league's secretary general‚ Meokgo Matuba‚ to journalist Qaanitah Hunter after the publication of an article by herself and Jeff Wicks about a meeting between former president Jacob Zuma and his allies at a Durban hotel.
The press club said in a statement on Monday that when Hunter had asked about the meaning of the picture‚ "Matuba reportedly claimed that she didn’t know who sent it as she shared the cellphone with many people".
"That is a wholly inadequate response in our view. There are a number of proper channels in which to challenge the accuracy of a newspaper report. The ANCWL should be using these rather than going on a tirade that seriously draws into question its commitment to a free press‚" said the press club.
"We will not simply stand aside when journalists are personally attacked and threatened‚ particularly by political leaders who ought to be setting an example.
"While the club will not comment on the merits of the story‚ it does note that various ruling party structures‚ particularly the ANC Women’s League‚ immediately condemned the newspaper report‚ claiming that it was false and that the meeting did not take place‚" read the statement.
"This was despite the publication of photographs and subsequent eyewitness accounts that Zuma and other prominent ANC members were in fact at the hotel as Hunter and Wicks had reported‚" it read.