An investigation by Fundudzi Media, the new owners of Sunday World, into claims by Minerals and Energy Affairs Minister Gwede Manatshe that he paid two
journalists R35 000 each, has found there is no such evidence.
Mantashe made the dramatic claims about two months ago when asked to answer questions about his three-way extra-marital affair involving a young Pretoria woman, Lerato Habiba Makgatho and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.
Mantashe recanted his claims when requested to provide evidence – with the South African National Editors Forum demanding that he apologise to the media fraternity in general but to Sunday World and its journalists particularly.
Sunday World editor and publisher Makhudu Sefara said yesterday the newspaper found no evidence to support Mantashe’s claims.
“Our reporters and I underwent lie detector tests and our investigation is now concluded. Part of the questions asked focused on three key questions. These were whether the reporters solicited money from minister Mantashe or his associates, whether they made contact with Mr Mantashe or his associates and whether they received, directly or indirectly, money from Mr Mantashe or his associates.
“And without exception, the reporters passed. The claims made by the minister could not be corroborated,” said Sefara, adding he was not surprised because so confident were the reporters themselves that they requested this extreme and invasive form of investigation.
Sefara said this brought to an end an internal investigation into claims by the minister. He further noted that Sunday World believed Mantashe still needed to explain who he paid, if anybody, and which newspaper they worked for “because clearly it was not Sunday World he was talking about”.
By Staff Reporter