PARTY

Baleka Mbete submits complaint against M&G - ANC

Jackson Mthembu
20 September 2013

Party says national chairperson has now approached press ombudsman over Gold Fields 'bribe' story

ANC STATEMENT ON PRESS COUNCIL SUBMISSION BY NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON

The National Chairperson of the African National Congress, Comrade Baleka Mbete submitted a complaint to the Press Ombudsman this week emanating from malicious reporting and headlines published by the Mail & Guardian newspaper about her on the 6th and 13th September. The National Chairperson approaches the Press Ombudsman following an intervention by the African National Congress requesting the Mail & Guardian to retract what were clearly defamatory statements made about her; a request that fell on deaf and obstinate ears.

The complaint to the Press Ombudsman is based on a headline, "*Gold Fields bribed ANC Chair*" published 6th September which presents as fact that the National Chair has committed a crime - bribery - based on unsubstantiated and contradictory allegations. The National Chairperson has reiterated that she has never solicited nor received a bribe from Gold Fields, from anyone associated to Gold Fields or the Black Economic Empowerment transaction in question. The headline is deliberately crafted to be misleading, defamatory and unfair. The story that accompanies the headline provides no proof or evidence of this so-called bribe nor does it substantiate the very damaging aspersions it casts on the National Chairperson in her capacity as an ordinary citizen and as a leader of the African National Congress.

The complaint is further based on the story Mail & Guardian published on the 13th September 2013 entitled "*Mbete looks out for Number One*". This story is a spirited attempt to prove and justify the earlier unsubstantiated claims that the National Chairperson was bribed in order to influence the BEE deal. The Mail & Guardian does this by once again seeking to discredit the National Chairperson of the organisation by claiming that " *she puts her political progress before principle*". The story is a collection of factual inaccuracies, innuendos and suppositions brought together with the sole intention to defame the National Chairperson and the standing she enjoys from her organisation and the people of South Africa.

Amongst others, the Mail & Guardian claims that "*Mbete herself (was) accused of having exploited state funds, although she reportedly paid back her share"* on the so-called Travelgate scandal. This is an outright lie. The National Chairperson was not the subject of an investigation into the misuse of travel vouchers in Parliament. The paper also claims that the National Chairperson was "*revealed to have received an illegal driver's licence*", an allegation that was tested and settled by the Moldenhauer Commission whose report recorded no adverse findings against Comrade Baleka Mbete.

This commitment to tarnishing the image of the ANC and its leadership at all costs leads to shoddy and gutter journalism that betrays the noble profession of journalism. An example of this unfair journalism is contained in the finding by the Press Ombudsman on its allegations of bribery against Comrade Tony Yengeni. It is unfortunate that the Mail & Guardian is unable to learn from its own mistakes.

The African National Congress supports the National Chairperson's assertion that the Mail & Guardian has deliberately sought to distort and misrepresent information with the intention of defaming and discrediting the National Chairperson and by necessary implication, the African National Congress.  We share her considered view that this is a politically motivated campaign being waged by the Mail & Guardian, intentionally or otherwise, with the sole intention to tarnish the image of the ANC and its leaders as we approach the General Elections in 2014. It is this type of biased and unfair reporting gives credence to a notion that is held by many South Africans that the Mail & Guardian is oppositionist in its reporting. The ANC cannot rest until the origins of this politically motivated oppositionist stance and intent are exposed.

Statement issued by Jackson Mthembu, ANC national spokesperson, September 20 2013

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Comments

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 responses to this article

Par for the course
I did not expect anything less. After all, it's what Dina Pule did. Look what that got her.

I'll just go and make popcorn :-)

by Marc on September 20 2013, 21:35
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Ja well no fine, that is the usual response.
Give the money back baleka.

by Theft again? on September 21 2013, 10:32
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the usual response?
A proper investigation is being conducted I'm sure by the Mail & Guardian.till then let's wait for the new detectives of Africa that are funded by the new world order

by no true on September 23 2013, 04:52
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Once Upon a Time
As entertaining as ever, comrade!

by canavman on September 23 2013, 05:56
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If you want to complain
you better make damn sure your hands are clean.

Even if the Press Ombudsman finds against the M&G it will not be the end of the road. There are always possibilities to appeal, during which more dirt can be dug up. In the mean time the story will . .more

by James Bell on September 23 2013, 10:26
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Baleka Lodghing a Complaint
Tell us if you do not have a stake at Gold fIelds if you are true to yourself and stop wasting Press Ombudsman's Time , all capitalists in the ANC you are an embarrasment to this glorius movement of Nelson Mandela and why not all of you do the honourable . .more

by Seage on September 23 2013, 10:31
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Based on Travelgate and drivers license, I believe M&G re GF bribe
Check the CAREFUL wording of the defense.

"Amongst others, the Mail & Guardian claims that "*Mbete herself (was) accused of having exploited state funds, although she reportedly paid back her share"* on the so-called Travelgate scandal. This is . .more

by Alto on September 23 2013, 10:39
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Hey Zuma whrer are the spy tapes???
Baleka, return the R 30 million, you do not deserve it, the poor people deserve it. As for Zuma please return the tapes or remain guilty in the eyes of all.

by ANC are a load of Rubbish imho on September 23 2013, 11:50
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Note what they DO NOT say
Amidst all the smoke and fury, I find no denial that the Chair of the ANC was the beneficiary of millions of rands worth of shares, for which she paid zero consideration.

Please, Jackson; just clarify what you forgot to mention: did Mbete . .more

by Questor on September 23 2013, 15:42
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Vendor financing
@Questor et al.

You are obviously ignorant and the ways of high finance are above your pay grade, but as usual that does not stop y'all from giving us your uninformed opinions.

These are not "free" shares as you clearly and . .more

by Veja on September 23 2013, 16:18
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@Veja.
"Wake up and smell the coffee and above all start living in the real world and not in the non existent faery white world that is informed by your small minded racial prejudice."
Oops, pots and kettles stuff there old fruitdrop.

by Jeff on September 23 2013, 17:19
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Black people's behavior
I understand black people needed things free and it says that in the bible, white men have this written in the bible. I understand people are fighting for jobs and things. I understand black people say, they could grow zebras in Africa to eat. The fight . .more

by SALAMI on September 23 2013, 18:27
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