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[EXCLUSIVE] Matuba apologises to ‘Sunday Times’ journalist over gun picture

Journalist Qaanitah Hunter had asked Meokgo Matuba to confirm whether she was at the Durban meeting to hatch a plot to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa, she denied it and later sent the reporter a picture of a gun.

ANCWL general secretary Meokgo Matuba. Picture: ANCWLNational/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL)'s secretary-general has apologised after a picture of a gun was sent from her phone to a Sunday Times journalist.

The league's Meokgo Matuba has spoken exclusively to Eyewitness News about suggestions that she tried to intimidate the journalist who reported on a meeting she attended with former President Jacob Zuma, secretary general Ace Magashule and former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo.

The group is said to have met at a Durban hotel last week to hatch a plot to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa, based on issues related to the ANC's national conference held in December.

When Sunday Times journalist Qaanitah Hunter asked Matuba to confirm whether she was in a meeting with Zuma, she denied it and later sent the reporter a picture of a gun.

This led many to ask if this was an attempt to intimidate the journalist.

Asked whether she sent the picture Matuba said: “Actually no, I didn’t send a gun to Qaanitah. If it’s her take that I sent the gun to intimidate her, my sincere apologies.”

Matuba says she explained to the journalist through a text message that she doesn’t know who sent the picture and that she shares her phone with “many people”.

MISTAKE

Matuba says she is aware that the picture of the gun that was sent to Hunter could be viewed as intimidation.

She says that picture was sent from her phone by an unknown person and it was simply a mistake.

“I really apologise and I’m using a phone with many people at home, it could have been a mistake.”

Matuba says she supports freedom of the media and expression and says she would never send such a picture to a journalist.

The South African National Editors Forum and the Cape Town Press Club have both since condemned what they say is a direct threat to the journalist by the ANCWL leader.

Meanwhile, Magashule says regardless of whether that picture of the gun was sent on purpose or by mistake, it was unacceptable and Matuba must take responsibility.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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