The minister doesn’t deny having claimed to have paid journalists, however denies having made the installments.
Following a statement denying that Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe bribed a journalist to put away sex scandal, department of mineral resources and energy chief of staff Moferefere Lekorotsoana admitted in an interview on 702 that Mantashe did not deny telling Sunday World he paid journalists R70,000 to kill the story, but did deny actually having made the payment.
Lekorotsoana revealed to 702:
“The minister’s version is he did not pay the journalists to bury a story. So the reality right now is, he may have made those claims… he doesn’t deny having said that but the fact of him paying any journalist to hide a story he denies.
“There is no veracity, it hasn’t been proven that he actually has paid. No one has come forward and said ‘yes the minister has paid me’.”
Lekorotsoana said he couldn’t clarify why Mantashe made the claim when pressed.
This follows a statement from the African National Congress (ANC) standing by the minister.
The party said it was“heartened” by the fact that Mantashe said he wasn’t involved in any illegal activity.
“Bribing journalists is not only criminal and unethical, it is also inconsistent with the values of the ANC,” said the statement.
The party said it upheld the media and the Press Code.
“For the ANC, media freedom and the independence of the media are sacrosanct.”
Mantashe was accounted for conceding he paid two journalists R70,000 to make a story involving his alleged sordid sex life with a “slay queen” disappear.
As indicated by the production, Mantashe “declined” to respond to their inquiries “and instead claimed he previously paid two journalists R70,000 in total for the story to go away”.
The story was distributed as the paper’s lead at any rate, with Mantashe allegedly saying the journalists who reached him was the “third individual” who needed to run with it, and that he would not pay once more.
He told the production that he “asked” for the story not to be composed.
Their manager and distributor Makhudu Sefara said he paid attention to Mantashe’s cases, as they embroiled his journalists, saying this sort of thing would not go on without serious consequences and that he needed Mantashe to approach with names, after which he said there would be “results”.
The story Mantashe attempted to squash who is married, was a “tiger in bed” who allegedly gave 26-year-old student and aspiring actress Lerato Makgatho payments of R10,000 – R15,000 at a time, and complained when approached for more money that he had already forked out R70,000 in total.
Makgatho in the article portrays Mantashe as a “superior blesser” than Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who she allegedly also slept with, just as a “tiger in bed”. The story is accompanied with screenshots from what appear to be WhatsApp messages between her and the two ministers.
Source: The Citizen