Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has lambasted City Press labelling the newspaper ” peddlers of half-baked gossip ‘” over the story “Minister’s lover want me dead”.
City Press has published a story detailing Molewa’s marital problems with her former husband Richard Molewa.
The newspaper claims it is in possession of an affidavit written by the minister’s former husband chronicling why he laid a criminal complaint of assault against his former wife and her “lover” – political commentator Professor Sipho Seepe.
“This is a further indictment of the media’s role in society as peddlers of half-baked gossip instead of as purveyors of truth,” said the minister.
She said it is all the more unfortunate that the media allow themselves to be used by individuals with ” self-serving agendas “.
In the affidavit, her former husband explained how Seepe tried to assault him in the kitchen of his wife’s ministerial residence in Waterkloof, Pretoria.
“This is an attempted smear by someone with no reputation to speak of; who ardently seeks to gain a name for himself clutching to the coattails of others. It speaks to an increased desperation to draw attention to himself and to secure a public audience,” the statement reads.
The statement said the allegations made by the Minister’s former husband are wholly devoid of substance and Richard Molewa had voluntarily submitted a withdrawal statement to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 2015.
In an interview with City Press he said after he had laid the complaint, a senior police officer told him he cannot lay charges the minister because it was the police’s duty to make the case vanish.
“Not only was the matter fully investigated by the SAPS, but the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute. The case was closed, and not quashed as the article tries to suggest,” Molewa said in her statement.
“As would be expected of rigorous journalism City Press should have interrogated the timing of these allegations made by Mr Richard Molewa – coming as they do in the week of the finalisation of a divorce between the two parties,” the statement read.