Durban - The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) is piling pressure on Gwede Mantashe to tell the truth under oath about which version of his two statements is true on the alleged R70 000 bribe he paid to two Sunday World newspaper journalists to bury a story about his alleged infidelity.
Hitting back at the minister of natural resources and energy, the forum asked why he made two contradictory statements on the matter. In a version published by the newspaper on Sunday, Mantashe allegedly claimed that he paid the bribe.
However, when pushed to name the two journalists, Mantashe on Tuesday morning said “none of the sort occurred.” He added that even the newspaper did not verify the allegations before publishing them.
Unfazed by the spectacular backtracking, Sanef executive director Kate Skinner said it is unacceptable that any South African, and especially a sitting cabinet minister would allegedly bribe journalists to quash a story.
“Today a new version of the story has been published where you deny the bribery allegations. We eagerly await for the truth to emerge and Sanef believes that it is imperative that you verify – under oath - which version of events is, in fact, correct and why you have made two contradictory statements,” Skinner said in the open letter written to Mantashe.