An article in today's City Press alleges that I attempted to give money to one of their journalists during a meeting at my home last week.
Hiding behind caveats and innuendo, the newspaper claims that I did this "in what appears to be an attempted bribery", and states that their journalist has made an affidavit to this effect "signed under oath".
The allegation that I offered cash to one of their journalists is, naturally, complete nonsense. The suggestion that I would have done so "in what appears to be an attempted bribery" is insulting and demeaning.
The facts are as follows:
It was the journalist who alerted me to a nice story that he has written about my department posted on City Press's online website.
It was the journalist who invited me to call him after I read the said story so that we can meet.
It was the journalist who came to my home. I did not go to him.
I did not offer him cash. I did not attempt to bribe him. I do not do that sort of thing; I never have, and I never will.
In my case, I have a witness who overheard the meeting and who is prepared to testify that no discussion over money took place, nor was any money offered.
It is important to note that my legal advisers approached City Press to request that they delay publication of the article to give me ample time to respond to their allegations. They refused to do so, and will now have to face the embarrassment of misrepresenting the situation to their readers.
I intend to pursue this matter through the appropriate legal channels. I cannot let a false allegation, wrapped up in an affidavit and enhanced by innuendo, defame my character in such a way.
Issued by: Limpopo Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs