Pretoria — The Department of Social Development says the reports that Minister Bathabile Dlamini used a Cash Paymaster Service (CPS) chartered flight to attend the funeral of Dumisani Mafu in the Eastern Cape are malicious.
The department said that it views the so called expose by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, General Bantubonke Holomisa, as nothing new but malicious and a rehashed part of a prevailing narrative perpetuated by the opposition to tarnish the reputation of Minister Dlamini.
"It is a pity that most of the media houses failed the basics of the time-honoured balance required in journalism of independently verifying the facts before recklessly publishing this malicious lie by General Holomisa.
"The funeral was declared an official provincial funeral by the Eastern Cape Government and it was broadcast live and anyone who cared about being truthful, objective and unbiased could have easily tried to get the recorded footage," the department said.
The department added that it regularly informs the media of the whereabouts of the Minister, and on the days around the funeral, she addressed young people in Port Elizabeth on 22 July 2016 for World Population Day at George Botha Sports Complex.
On 23 July 2016, Minister Dlamini left in the morning to address pupils at Masijabulile High School in KwaSwayimani, Pietermaritzburg her former high school.
"General Holomisa should refrain from spreading lies and concentrate on building his party," said Minister Dlamini.