Reporter blames smear campaign on ANCYL leaders

Disgraced Caxton journalist Mbekezeli Mbuli is willing to take a lie detector test to prove his claims that he was promised a job and a luxury German car to discredit Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza’s political rivals in the ANC.

He has accused suspended ANC Youth League provincial secretary Musa Mkhatshwa and former league provincial executive member Nathaniel Mashile of promising him a BMW and a job at the Mbombela Local Municipality if he wrote negative stories about Mabuza’s political opponents.

“If Caxton allows it, I do not have a problem taking a lie-detector test to prove my allegations against Mkhatshwa and Mashile,” Mbuli told African Eye News Service.

Mbuli’s boss, Lowveld Media editor Irma Green, said the company would not allow Mbuli to take a polygraph or lie detector test to prove his allegations.

“He has already [undergone] internal disciplinary processes and has been sanctioned,” said Green.

Asked whether Mbuli would be fired after admitting that he submitted stories pre-written by other people as part of a smear campaign against provincial health and social development MEC Clifford Mkasi, Green said: “It is none of your business.”

Non-committal on taking the polygraph test
Both Mkhatshwa and Mashile have denied influencing Mbuli’s writing, but would not commit to undergoing a polygraph test.

Mkhatshwa, who insisted that Mbuli had falsely implicated him in the scandal, said he would need to “consult” before agreeing to a lie detector test.

“I cannot be pressurised to take a lie detector test to prove my innocence and I am no longer willing to talk to journalists about Mbuli’s allegations. I am very much relaxed because I have not done anything wrong, but if you want me to take the lie detector test then allow me time to consult relevant people.”

Mkhatshwa, who was suspended from the ANC for being ill-disciplined, refused to say who he would consult.

Mashile, who resigned in protest against Mkhatshwa’s suspension and the local league’s support of expelled national youth league president Julius Malema, has denied knowing Mbuli.

He also asked for time to think about taking a lie detector test.

“If taking the test means my name will be cleared, then let me think about it and come back to you,” said Mashile.

He accused Mbuli of making him a celebrity for the wrong reasons.

“I am only interested in dealing with issues that affect the poor masses in our communities. Mbuli is making me a celebrity in the wrong way. I am thinking of suing him and his paper,” Mashile said.

“Mbuligate”
During Mpumalanga’s provincial budget speech on Tuesday, the Democratic Alliance’s leader in the province, Anthony Benadie, challenged Mabuza to appoint a commission of enquiry to investigate what he called “Mbuligate”.

“He must appoint a commission of enquiry and clear his name and the name of the Mpumalanga government,” said Benadie.

Mabuza did not react to Benadie’s request. Instead, the leader of government business in the provincial legislature, human settlements MEC Siphosezwe Masango, said it was not a matter for the legislature to discuss.

During a recorded confession to the health and social development MEC, Mbuli can be heard saying he wrote a series of stories against the politician in return for a job and BMW.

Mkasi has been punted to challenge Mabuza as provincial chairperson in the ANC provincial conference, which will be held next month.

Mbuli named Mkhatshwa as the man who told him which articles to write. He admitted to putting his by-line on one particular article, which he said had been written by Mkhatshwa himself.

The story, published in February, quoted a nonexistent Professor Robert MacMillan as questioning Mkasi’s leadership. It was published in Mpumalanga Mirror, a biweekly insert that goes in all regional papers of the Caxton publishing group in Mpumalanga. — African Eye News Service

Cobus Coetzee
Cobus Coetzee works from Johannesburg. Cobus Coetzee is a journalist at Media24 in Johannesburg. He reports for Media24 Afica Desk and Beeld newspaper Cobus Coetzee has over 267 followers on Twitter.
Advertisting

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Despite tweet, Zuma keeps silent about providing his taxpayer information

The Public Protector has still not received confirmation from former president Jacob Zuma that she may access his tax records —...

Ahead of WEF, Mboweni will have to assure investors that...

The finance minister says despite the difficult fiscal environment, structural reforms are under way to put SA on a new growth path
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.