SMS about police raid on premier a lie, says ANC

AN SMS claiming that Mpumalanga police had raided the Barberton residence of Premier David Mabuza and found R45million in cash and illegal firearms is a lie.

The provincial government, the ANC and police have all dismissed the SMS as a lie.

A number of cellphone messages, copies of which are in the possession of Sowetan,have been sent to politicians, businesspeople, journalists and ordinary citizens in the province.

ANC spokesperson in the province Paul Mbenyane said the party viewed the SMS as a "dirty and malicious rumour aimed at damaging the good name of the ANC in general and the persona and reputation of the provincial chairperson, in particular.

"The ANC in the province condemns in the strongest possible terms the mischievous allegations that the police have raided the residence of the ANC's provincial chairperson and premier of Mpumalanga comrade DD Mabuza this week."

The SMS says R45million in cash, two AK-47 rifles and eight other illegal firearms were found during a "top secret" police raid this week.

The SMS started circulating on Monday and sent panic in the province, leading to a flood of enquiries.

Spokesperson for the provincial police organised crime unit Captain Leonard Hlathi was quoted by a local radio station as dismissing the allegation.