Opposition parties are clamouring for action against African National Congress Chairperson (ANC) Gwede Mantashe.
The Sunday World reported over the weekend that Mantashe had bribed two of its journalists not to write a story about an alleged affair with a student – allegations he has since denied.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called on Mantashe to step down, saying its own research has concluded that the allegations are true.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has asked Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests to probe his conduct.
The DA says Mantashe’s alleged actions are in violation of the code of ethical conduct.
The party’s Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Kevin Mileham says: “Members of Parliament and I would argue more specifically a minister, who should be held to a higher standard of accountability, are expected to act in the public interest and to maintain the trust and confidence of the public in the integrity of Parliament. It is our belief that Mantashe has failed to do so.”
Meanwhile, Mantashe has denied the allegations.
ANC National Spokesperson Pule Mabe says it refutes reports of bribery against its National Spokesperson, adding that the party respects and upholds press freedom and the work of journalists.
Mantashe given 7 days to clarify statement
The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) says it will write to President Cyril Ramaphosa about the bribery allegations levelled against Minister Mantashe.
Sanef has given Mantashe seven days to clarify his statement under oath. Sanef Chairperson, Mahlatse Mahlase says the President needs to take this matter seriously.
“We are going to communicate with the President’s Office. If you’ve got an allegation of a minister trying to suppress the truth, that is quite worrying for us. And we think that within the leadership of the President, he then must also pay attention to this matter. It’s about his cabinet taking seriously media freedom; it’s about his cabinet committing itself to a free flow of information in South Africa which is quite critical; it’s about dealing with corruption because bribery is also a criminal offence.”
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