Red-faced after being misled by the ANC on an alleged "matter of national importance", Talk Radio 702 kicked senior ANC spokespeople out of its Sandton building, forcing the politicians to hold their press conference in the car park, write Carien du Plessis and Fiona Forde in The Argus.

Group Editor Katy Katopodis said that "regrettably" the conference had been cancelled.

The decision had been taken after ANC heavyweights Jeff Radebe and Jess Duarte finally informed the station – after high secrecy and a number of delays – that the news was about the defection from COPE back to the ANC of Mlungisi Hlongwane, who is COPE's head of elections.

If the conference had been allowed to go ahead, said Katopodis, "we would simply have been used by the ANC".

She said Hlongwane's defection to the ANC was not a major national interest.

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