DA leader Mmusi Maimane has referred to a story in the Mail & Guardian, which claims that he takes leadership advice from FW de Klerk, as ''a blatant lie''.
Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay says the publication followed due process when investigating the allegations and called several times for an official response.
Meanwhile DA national spokesperson Phumzile Van Damme said the article was wrong, adding that she was not adequately contacted by the publication.
Listen to the full conversation from The Redi Tlhabi Show:
I cannot count the number of times we called Maimane's spokesperson trying to get a response. We held the pages waiting for their reply.— Verashni Pillay, Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief
The comment they sent was complete dissent to response, which made us think that we have to run the story because this is a really concerning allegation in the current climate of South Africa.— Verashni Pillay, Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief
If there are widespread allegations that a number of your black leaders feel you are taking leadership lessons from a former apartheid president, and you don't deal with the perception, that in itself is newsworthy.— Verashni Pillay, Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief
Every person we spoke to, independently of each other, spoke about a crashing culture of silence in the party around issues of race.— Verashni Pillay, Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief
I have a lot of respect for Verashni , but the story she published today was wrong and she knows that.— Phumzile van Damme, DA National Spokesperson
She already decided that this was a story that she would publish about the DA, regardless of what anyone else said.— Phumzile van Damme, DA National Spokesperson
Her journalist is a former DA staffer whose contract wasn't renewed and was hired by the Mail & Guardian to specifically right negative stories about the DA.— Phumzile van Damme, DA National Spokesperson
The questions I was sent had nothing to do with FW de Klerk.— Phumzile van Damme, DA National Spokesperson
(Also read the article - Maimane: There's no lesson I could learn from FW de Klerk)