South Africa: How Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo Set the Hawks On His Ex-Mistress

analysis

The dramatic arrest last month of a woman accused of demanding a R300,000 bribe to stop harassing the deputy finance minister has a back story: an evidently traumatic abortion, and his offer to pay her the money for psychological treatment.

Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo stands accused of using his influence and state resources to settle a personal score with an ex-mistress by having her arrested for extortion.

WhatsApp messages between the deputy minister and the 30-year-old woman, who asked not to be named, suggest that it was Masondo, 44, who first offered money because he "wanted peace" and the fighting between them to stop.

The messages dating from August also show the woman dismissing the offer of money several times.

It appears from the messages that the fight was mainly around the woman accusing the deputy minister of bullying her to have an abortion and her wanting the two families to discuss damages.

The termination was evidently traumatic and the woman received counselling.

Masondo, who is married and a father of two, did not want his relatives involved nor to have the woman contact his wife.

President Ramaphosa appointed Masondo as deputy minister in May this year. He is...

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