ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa spent a significant part of the party's press conference, which followed the weekend meeting of its leadership, dousing rumours that Mantashe is under fire. With just over 30 days to go until the party's hotly contested elective conference, the fake news mill is grinding at great steam. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
Slap bang in the middle of the ANC's 2012 conference in Mangaung - in fact, on the day voting was due to take place - readers of The Star newspaper woke up to news that Cyril Ramaphosa had declined the deputy president nomination on President Jacob Zuma's slate.
He was ostensibly too close to then deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to even conceive of competing against him.
It was an exclusive. The then Independent Newspapers deputy group political editor, Gaye Davis, had advised against publishing the story because she had earlier confirmation from Ramaphosa that he had actually accepted and signed his nomination form.
Internal newspaper politics saw Davis resigning.
The story itself was based on information by three unnamed sources, who, it is clear with hindsight, wanted to confuse delegates into not voting for Ramaphosa.
Five years ago, fake news...