Sunday Independent editor Steve Motale claimed yesterday that he had been getting death threats in connection with the Ramaphosa e-mails.
The story was met with suspicion on social media, with some Ramaphosa supporters claiming it was part of a ploy to drag the presidential candidate’s name through the mud.
Motale told The Citizen that Ramaphosa’s camp knew he was working on the story before it was written and he had been receiving death threats before and after the story broke.
After Ramaphosa’s urgent court interdict application against the paper failed on Saturday night, the contents of an e-mail sent to him by Motale was circulated on social media.
Despite claims that the e-mail addresses were fake, Motale insisted they were genuine and he was merely exposing “facts”.
In a statement on Saturday, Ramaphosa said the “smear campaign” against him represented an escalation of a dirty war against those working to restore the values, principles and integrity of the ANC and society.
He said it was likely state agencies and resources were being abused to promote factional political agendas.
“It has come to my attention through questions sent to me by the editor of a Sunday newspaper that a number of e-mails from my private e-mail account have been illegally obtained and provided to at least one media outlet,” Ramaphosa said, referring to Motale.
“Let them interrogate the facts on the table and not attack the messenger,” Motale said yesterday.
“This blind loyalty to individuals is what makes people stupid. It is this very blind loyalty that’s breaking this continent and taking it backward.”