The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) says it will soon write to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to request him to verify the Sunday World story, saying if it’s true, he must identify the journalists he bribed.
This after the newspaper reported that Mantashe admitted paying two of its journalists a R70 000 bribe to quash a story about his alleged relationship with a student.
The Tiso Blackstar Group says the Press Code and the company’s own editorial policy are opposed to any form of corrupt and unethical journalism. The group, which owned the Sunday World at the time of the alleged incident, also says it is shocked that the bribe allegations were never brought to its attention. The Sunday World has launched an investigation into the matter.
SANEF’s executive director Kate Skinner, “We will be writing to the Minister to say that we need to know the names of the journalists. It’s very important that who these particular people are otherwise it will be like all journalists at the Sunday World. We support the editor at the Sunday World in terms of their investigation. The editor has said he will obviously fire the journalists if he finds out who they are and obviously there needs to be concrete evidence to prove that the bribery has in fact happened.”
Meanwhile, the EFF has taken to Twitter to call on Mantashe to hand himself over to the police over allegations that he bribed two journalists. The party’s spokesperson Mbuyeseni Ndlozi says they are not concerned about the content of the article which alleges a love triangle involving Mantashe, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and the student, but also want Mantashe to release the names of the involved journalists.