Web of conceit

There are lies, there are damn lies - and then there are party spin doctors. And dare we state the obvious that ANC spin doctor Smuts Ngonyama can really spin a big yarn?

Well, it is Ngonyama's job to put a spin on tricky party matters anyway, hence his tirade - published in Sowetan yesterday - over the succession issue comes as no surprise.

In a response to this newspaper's report headlined "ANC wants Mbeki, Zuma to quit race", Ngonyama criticised Sowetan for publishing "lies" on the succession debate, claiming the newspaper was pursuing an agenda.

The Sowetan report had quoted insiders as saying there were moves within the party to stop both President Thabo Mbeki and his Number 2, Jacob Zuma, from running in the ANC leadership race.

In the fussy world of politics, the truth often lies between the lines whenever utterances by party spin doctors and inside sources collide. Watch this space.