The African National Congress (ANC) has condemned threats made by party MP Boy Mamabolo to a journalist, saying it will investigate his conduct.
In a statement on Friday, the ANC said it found this conduct unacceptable and inconsistent with the values of the organisation.
"This behaviour is also not in keeping with what is expected of a public representative. In a democracy such as ours, there is no place for the intimidation of Journalists – they cannot be insulted and threatened for merely doing their job. The ANC holds the view that a free and robust press is the lifeblood of our constitutional democracy."
In a voice recording released by Sunday World, Mamabolo is heard saying he would shoot Sunday World journalist Ngwako Malatji after he questioned him on tweets criticising President Cyril Ramaphosa's reinstatement of the alcohol ban. Mamabolo called it a victory for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
"For the ANC, media freedom is sacrosanct and [we] will continue to defend the media's right to report without fear or favour. The ANC has noted that Mr Malatji has opened a case of intimidation against Mamabolo. We will henceforth allow the law to take its course. In addition, appropriate structures of the ANC will investigate Mamabolo's conduct and take appropriate action," the party said.
In its statement, the South African National Editors Forum said it found the threats against Mamabolo deeply disturbing.
"Such threats have no place in a democratic society and underline the risks that journalists face when covering the activities of politicians at all levels including branches, regions, and provinces. We hope that SAPS will take this threat against the journalist seriously and carry out the necessary investigation.
"We hope that the MP responsible for the threats will be brought to justice to show that this unparliamentary behaviour has no place in our democracy. We also call on the ANC to show that it does not tolerate such behaviour within its ranks and that it will duly take steps to discipline its member."
In March, EFF leader Julius Malema and his wife, Mantoa, approached the Limpopo High Court on an urgent basis, seeking R2-million in damages from Mamabolo.
This came after Mamabolo accused Malema of abusing his wife during the State of the Nation Address in Parliament. Mamabolo was served with papers demanding R2-million for defamation.
The two parties eventually reached a settlement before the merits of the case was argued in court.