South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) has dismissed reports of a plot to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa, calling them blatant lies and shameless gossip.
South Africa’s Sunday Times said it had evidence that senior ANC officials were plotting with the country’s former President Jacob Zuma.
The paper published a photo, showing what it said was a secret meeting last week between Mr Zuma and several key allies – and claimed the group was preparing a campaign to remove President Ramaphosa from power.
The ANC swiftly condemned the report as lies and shameless gossip.
But the party’s chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, said the alleged plot should be taken seriously, and warned of the deep factional battles still raging in the party.
Mr Zuma was forced out of power last year and is now facing a corruption trial and other investigations.
His successor, Mr Ramaphosa, is still struggling to consolidate control over his party and to revive a struggling economy, ahead of national elections next year.