Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. File photo: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA).

The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) says that Minerals Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has failed to deliver on his promise to apologise for claiming that he had paid R70 000 to two Sunday World journalists to kill a story on his extra marital affair with a woman. 

Mantashe said that he had paid the amount to the Sunday World journalists to quash a story revealing his extramarital affair with Lerato Makgatho, a Pretoria student, although he later denied this in a statement. 

The Sunday World has since demanded that Mantashe apologise for making the bribery claims against its journalists, while the Democratic Alliance has called for a parliamentary investigation into Mantashe’s conduct by the joint committee on ethics and members’ interests. 

In a statement, Sanef Executive Director Kate Skinner said that Mantashe had not apologised for his utterances, despite retracting the bribery claims. 

“Mancom met with the minister last week and he stood by the story that he had said he had bribed journalists but, he had not bribed journalists. He said he would subject himself to the Satchwell Commission to explain the context. 

“Mancom wishes to point out that we were very firm during the meeting that we wanted an apology to the nation, journalists generally, to the Sunday World and to the specific journalists implicated,” Skinner said. 

She added that despite Mantashe issuing a statement saying that he regretted and retracted the statement, he had still not apologised. 

“We will follow up. Also, we have sent a letter to the president asking that he holds the Minister to account. 

“We are waiting for his reply. Further, we have also sent a letter to Judge Satchwell asking that she investigate this specific matter and also 'brown envelope' journalism more broadly,” said Skinner. 

Political Bureau