Parliament denies Joemat-Pettersson family’s snubbing of National Assembly Speaker

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. File photo: Kenneth Klemens

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. File photo: Kenneth Klemens

Published Jun 12, 2023


Johannesburg - National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has denied a new article in the “Sunday World” that says she was barred from attending Tina Joemat-Pettersson’s funeral.

Joemat-Pettersson, 59, died under mysterious circumstances on June 5.

Her death has raised suspicions of foul play after she was fingered in a R600 000 bribery claim by Mandla Skosana, the husband of suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Skosana has alleged that Joemat-Pettersson, along with ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina and chairperson of the Section 194 inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office Richard Dyantyi, solicited this bribe in order to make the probe "go away".

The Sunday publication reported that the Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and other ANC members were snubbed by Joemat-Pettersson’s family.

Parliament has threatened to file a complaint against the “Sunday World” if it does not retract the article.

Parliament has also called on the publication to apologise to her family, saying the report was “sensational, insensitive, and hurtful“.

On Tuesday, Mapisa-Nqakula had visited the family to pay her respects.

“Parliament strongly condemns the gross misrepresentation in today’s Sunday World newspaper regarding the visit of National Assembly Speaker, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to the family of the late Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

“Contrary to the article’s blatant lies that the Speaker was snubbed by the family, the Speaker was warmly welcomed by Joemat-Pettersson’s family during her visit to pay her respects. She spent three hours with the bereaved family, offering condolences, sharing memories, and providing comfort during this challenging time,” reads the statement.

Parliament further slammed the publication, saying it violated principles of fair and accurate reporting.

“The actions of the ‘Sunday World’ are a clear violation of the fundamental principles of accuracy, fairness and respect for the privacy and emotional well-being of the family in times of grief," said Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

“We call on the ‘Sunday World’ to issue an immediate retraction and a public apology to both the Speaker and the Joemat-Pettersson family for the distress caused by their false reporting.”

The Star