Sanef wants Gwede Mantashe to answer to bribe accusations after Budget speech
Durban - The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) says it expects Parliament’s ethics committee to look into their demands that Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe apologise for making a bribery claim against two Sunday World journalists.
Last year, Mantashe claimed that he had paid R70 000 to two Sunday World journalists to quash a story revealing his extramarital affair with Lerato Makgatho, a Pretoria student. He later denied paying a bribe.
Mantashe later retracted his claim that he had paid the figure to the Sunday World journalists, although he did not apologise for the claims.
Sanef Executive Director, Dr. Kate Skinner, said that they had written a letter to the parliamentary ethics committee to look into the matter and upon following up on it earlier this year the committee told Sanef that they would not be able to deal with the matter immediately.
“We were told that post-Sona and the Budget Speech the committee would definitely be looking into the matter, so unfortunately we still have to wait until the committee sits and looks at the matter,” Skinner said.
Skinner said that Advocate Anthea Gordon, chairperson of parliament’s joint committee on ethics and disclosure of members’ interests, had called Sanef and indicated that the issue was important and that the committee would deal with it.
“Unfortunately given the parliamentary schedule the Sona and the Budget Speech would take up time, but as soon as that is over the committee would then deal with the matter,” Skinner said.
Skinner said that they were taking the claims seriously because of the reputational damage it caused to the media as “brown envelope journalism” was a serious violation of the Press Council Code.