The publication also refuses to apologise for the story about Mantashe’s alleged extramarital affair.
Johannesburg – Sunday World has clapped back at Gwede Mantashe’s denial that he bribed journalists to bury a story about an alleged extramarital affair with a young woman, daring Mantashe to take the publication to court if he disputes the claims.
On Tuesday morning, the Mineral Resources and Energy minister denied he’d paid a R70 000 bribe to Sunday World journalists to get them to ditch a story on his affair with a Pretoria-based student.
Mantashe maintained that no such incident occurred and said he believed in “upholding the integrity of the media” and “media freedom”.
Sunday World editor Makhudu Sefara, in an interview with 702, hit back at Mantashe’s statement saying the publication stood by its story.
“We believe that we captured Mr Mantashe factually and if he’s changing his story, I’m not quite certain why that is so, but one thing I can say for sure is there is no apology we are making. He didn’t demand an apology.
“My view is because we captured him correctly, if he feels that we incriminated him or we linked him to things that incriminate him that he’s not connected to at all, he is at liberty to take the Sunday World to court and as the editor, I dare him publicly and say ‘Mr Mantashe, you must sue us if you believe truly that we erred in any way in the reporting that we did.'”
Meanwhile, the SA National Editors Forum and DA have called for an investigation into the matter, with the minister being urged to name the journalists he reportedly paid.
The Presidency meanwhile has distanced itself from the allegations, referring all questions to Mantashe’s office.