Members of South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) have abandoned plans to burn the book, Gangster State, following strong criticism from senior leaders of the party.
National Assembly Speaker and ANC member Baleka Mbete said she condemned in the “strongest terms the repulsive acts of criminality and flagrant attack on the key principles of our constitutional democracy by threats to burn copies” of the book, which exposes the alleged corruption of the powerful ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule, in his home province of Free State.
Ms Mbete issued the statement jointly with the chairwoman of parliament’s upper chamber, Thandi Modise.
A spokesman for the ANC’s youth wing in Free State province, Sello Pietersen, confirmed that the burning of the book – planned for today – had been cancelled following discussions with the party’s national leaders.
“However, we will go ahead with condemnation and engaging the falsehoods which are presented in that particular book because we believe it is propaganda intended to undermine the integrity of the leadership of the ANC,” Mr Pietersen told the privately owned IOL news site.
The book accuses Magashule of being corrupt. He denies the allegation, and has threatened to sue its author and publisher.