Cyril Ramaphosa must act on Gwede Mantashe claim

Minister Gwede Mantashe's revelation of journalists being bribed does not only affect him but it also tarnishes the credibility of the media in the country, the writer says.
Minister Gwede Mantashe's revelation of journalists being bribed does not only affect him but it also tarnishes the credibility of the media in the country, the writer says.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

It's a disgrace that mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe sees nothing wrong in being involved in a criminal activity.

Why on earth was he allegedly involved in a bribery scandal with journalists that he unashamedly told a newspaper about?

Mantashe reportedly said to a Sunday World reporter that he had paid R70,000 to two journalists of the publication to make a story about his affair with a young woman disappear.

But, the newspaper's editor and publisher Makhudu Sefara was quoted saying he had met journalists and they had denied accepting money from Mantashe.

Mantashe's revelation of journalists being bribed does not only affect him but it also tarnishes the credibility of the media in the country.

Journalists, by law, are free but that does not stop newsmakers from insulting and intimidating them when they report on their wrongdoings.

The latest incident was when two journalists were attacked in July while covering a march that was in support of the then suspended eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede in Durban.

When the crowd clashed with cops, a journalist was roughed up and another ended up being arrested by metro cops. He was later released without being charged.

Sadly, the esteemed minister's confession is likely to worsen working conditions for journalists, so we call on him to name them and provide evidence to their employer so that they can face consequences for their actions.

Mantashe must also be held accountable for his part in the matter; these are utterances that incriminated himself.

We are waiting with bated breath to see what action President Cyril Ramphosa will take against Mantashe. We urge the president to act swiftly and decisively.

Mr President, it is time to show South Africans your zero tolerance against corruption. The Mantashe bribery issue has to be probed and if indeed he paid the journalists, action must be taken.

It is unacceptable that a cabinet minister can boast about being involved in such and remain in office. Mantashe's comment are in violation of the Code of Ethical Conduct.

Minerals and energy minister Gwede Mantashe allegedly admitted to the Sunday World newspaper that he paid two journalists to “destroy evidence” about an alleged extra-marital affair he had with a student. Here's everything you need to know.

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