Mining minister Gwede Mantashe is under growing pressure to name two Sunday World journalists he claimed to have paid to drop a story on allegations that he had had a relationship with a young woman.
Sunday World reported yesterday that when it approached Mantashe to comment on the claims of his alleged extramarital relationship with a student, he in turn claimed to have paid R70 000 to journalists to quash the story.
The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) responded in a statement: ‘As a result of these shocking allegations, SANEF will be pursuing the following actions: Writing to the Minister to request that he reveals the names of the journalists involved; supporting @SundayWorldZA ’s investigations into the matter, and supporting @SundayWorldZA ’s commitment to ensuring that all Sunday World journalists sign pledges to ensure ethical journalism.’
So-called brown envelope journalism was unethical, it said, and Mantashe’s conduct was particularly worrying as he was as a senior political figure.
‘SANEF champions ethical journalism. We believe that if anyone has ANY evidence of unethical journalism – including the very serious breach of accepting funds for journalism – they should go to the Press Council,’ it said.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiselo Ndlozi commented: ‘Minister @GwedeMantashe1 just admitted to bribery of @SundayWorldZA journalists not to publish his “Tiger” story. I really don’t care much on the private life of the man. What should concern us is bribery of journalists. He must hand himself to the police & release the names!’