Photos of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule circulating on social media and in governing party circles have led to accusations that the organisation's national and provincial lists for the 2019 elections have been tampered with.
The photos, which New24 has been sent, show Magashule, acting ANC national spokesperson Dakota Legoete and several other individuals scrutinising documents, which some claim are the party's lists.
According to a well-placed source, one of the individuals in the photo is allegedly Magashule's personal bodyguard.
The setting of the pictures has also led to much confusion and speculation on the location of the gathering.
A source with knowledge of the matter told News24 that State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba has been informed about the photos.
"The North West provincial task team went to the minister to ask her to investigate," the source said.
Magashule was 'checking' printout
Letsatsi-Duba then allegedly accused Magashule of tampering with the lists on social media, Eyewitness News reported.
Her actions resulted in Magashule releasing a statement, calling her accusations reckless.
Magashule explained that he was tasked in his capacity as the secretary general with submitting the lists to the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC). Lambasting Letsatsi-Duba for making the accusations, Magashule said had she called, he would have told her the full facts.
"Namely that he was in the offices of the IEC, and was requested to check the electronic version sent earlier with a printout of the list that he had brought along with him. The photo being distributed on social media was taken by a staff member of the IEC, and the lady in the pink shirt in the same photo is an IEC official. "Comrade Letsatsi-Duba runs an important ministry. We welcome the president's initiatives to restructure the intelligence services and to ensure that the intelligence services are not used for personal political gains. Unfortunately, her behaviour shows recklessness and political factionalism, which contradicts the initiatives of President (Cyril) Ramaphosa."
'He has to explain why he did this'
Magashule added that he had tried to engage Letsatsi-Duba for the past two days and she had not replied to his messages.
"This leaves us with no option but to request a public apology from her, correcting the lies that she is peddling."
EWN reported that the minister claimed the photos were taken at a hotel room instead of the IEC canteen as some have claimed.
"There is no reason for the SG (secretary general) to scrutinise the list at the last hour. He has to explain why he did this and why his people were on the table with him. There is something fishy and we are in the process of verifying the list with the IEC," one source told News24.
The ANC has its hands full as party members in the North West call for a review of the lists.
According to an official in the province, two individuals, a Cosatu leader - Job Dlosi - and an unknown ANC Women's League leader may be cut from the list.
Efforts to reach Legoete were unsuccessful.