Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe reportedly admitted in this Sunday’s edition of Sunday World that he paid two Sunday World journalists R70,000 to make a story involving his alleged sordid sex life with a “slay queen” disappear.
According to the publication, Mantashe “declined” to answer their questions “and instead claimed he previously paid two Sunday World journalists R70,000 in total for the story to go away”.
The story was published as the newspaper’s lead anyway, with Mantashe reportedly saying the journalist who contacted him was the “third person” who wanted to run with it, and that he refused to pay again.
He told the publication that he “begged” for the story not to be written.
Sunday World editor and publisher Makhudu Sefara said he takes Mantashe’s claims very seriously, as they implicate his journalists, saying this kind of thing will not be tolerated and that he wants Mantashe to come forward with names, after which he says there will be “consequences”.
The story details how Mantashe, who is married, was a “tiger in bed” who allegedly gave 26-year-old student and aspiring actress Lerato Makgatho payments of R10,000 – R15,000 at a time, and complained when approached for more money that he had already forked out R70,000 in total.
Makgatho in the article describes Mantashe as a “better blesser” than Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who she allegedly also slept with, as well as a better lover – a “tiger in bed”. The story is accompanied with screenshots from what appear to be WhatsApps between her and the two ministers.
Repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact Mantashe were made by The Citizen this morning. We will update this story with his comment as soon as we receive it.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, meanwhile, took to Twitter to say that Mantashe “just admitted to bribery of [Sunday World] 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 [and] release the names!” Ndlozi added.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.)