Mantashe didn't mean he paid journos to quash sex story - spokesperson

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe's spokesperson Moferefere Lekorotsoana said he didn’t really mean it when he told the 'Sunday World' that he had paid the reporters not to publish the article but admitted his utterances were unfortunate.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has on Tuesday retracted his statement about paying two journalists to kill a story about his alleged extramarital affair.

Mantashe’s spokesperson Moferefere Lekorotsoana said he didn’t really mean it when he told the Sunday World that he had paid the reporters not to publish the article but admitted his utterances were unfortunate.

The newspaper reported at the weekend that the minister paid R70,000 to can the story about his alleged love triangle involving a young woman and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

There are now calls for the Mantashe to step down and for Parliament’s ethics committee to investigate his conduct.

Lekorotsoana suggested that the minister lied to a Sunday World journalist that he had paid his colleagues to quash a story.

"He had made those claims, I don’t know what the circumstances were when he was saying that to the paper."

Lekorotsoana also couldn’t answer why the ministry was dealing with Mantashe’s personal matters.

Listen below to the full conversation: