Mantashe — the political elephant in the room

All eyes will be on the meeting of the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) today, amid the controversy caused by allegations of bribery by the party’s national chairperson, Gwede Mantashe.

Sunday World has learnt that there was already a push by Mantashe’s opponents, who are insisting that he should be hauled before the party’s integrity committee chaired by veteran George Mashamba.

A senior ANC leader said some in the NWC could be tempted to discuss the impact that Mantashe’s allegations had on the ruling party.

In a dramatic political week for Mantashe, who is mineral resources and energy minister, the former chairperson of the National Union of Mineworkers made a U-turn and retracted his statement that he paid two journalists working for Sunday World to bury a story, when challenged to provide proof by the paper’s editor.

In a statement on Thursday, Mantashe confirmed that he had not paid any Sunday World reporters.

This follows sustained calls from the DA and EFF that President Cyril Ramaphosa should drop him from his cabinet and that he face criminal
charges for bribery.

“He needs to hand himself [to the integrity committee]. This story is not going to go [away],” said the senior ANC leader, adding that the integrity committee was empowered to take up a case without a complaint, if it warrants their attention.

Mashamba could not be reached for comment.

By George Matlala

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