The DA has called on Parliament’s Ethics Committee to use the findings of the South African National Editors Forum’s inquiry into media ethics in its lodged complaint against Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe over the allegations against him of bribing a journalist.
Last year, the Mantashe was reported to the committee after he said he had paid a Sunday World journalist R70 000 to ’kill a story’ about his extramarital affair.
On Wednesday, the DA said it had identified adverse evidence against Mantashe in the Sanef report which would probe him.
The report pointed out that while the panel that launched the probe was not necessarily in agreement that there had been either criminal or civil wrongdoing by Mantashe, his actions had constituted “political and executive disregard and contempt for the media” and that it undermined its credibility.
“Either Mr Mantashe did bribe journalists, in which case, he has no respect for the institution of the media. Or Mr Mantashe did not bribe journalists, in which case, making an on-the-record allegation and then retracting it without explanation is contemptuous of the function and standing of the media and media practitioners,” the report said.
In a letter addressed to the registrar of the committee, DA spokesperson on mineral resources Kevin Mileham said the findings were damning against Mantashe.
“These findings against the minister are of a grave and serious nature, requiring that Parliament exercises its responsibility in holding the minister to account in terms of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests of Parliament,” Mileham said.
Mileham complained that Parliament had dragged its feet on working on its complaint since he filed it in October last year.
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