The Daily Sun is standing by its story published on Monday on allegations of rape involving EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Daily Sun editor Mapula Nkosi on Monday noted the statement by the provincial police confirming that a case of rape was opened and under investigation. However, Nkosi slammed the police for saying that the tabloid and its reporter, Amos Mananyetso, did not seek police comment prior to publishing the story.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters criticised the newspaper for not seeking comment from SAPS and using the victim’s statement as the basis of the story. She said the affidavit was confidential and could have been obtained through unlawful and unethical means.
Nkosi said Mananyetso communicated with Gauteng police spokesperson Kay Makhubele via telephone and WhatsApp. Makhubele apparently informed the reporter that the questions were sent to Peters.
“Brigadier Peters failed to respond to the questions prior to the article being published on Monday. Only after publication did Brigadier Peters issue a statement. It is therefore untrue to claim that Daily Sun did not contact the police prior to publication,” Nkosi said.
She said Daily Sun stood by its story and condemned the police for their statement.
“In the statement, the police confirm that a case of rape was opened as reported by Daily Sun. They also confirm that they are still investigating the case. Daily Sun stands by our story and condemns the attack by the police on the people’s paper and the journalist.
“A 23-year old victim has begun the journey of trying to seek justice from our courts and we hope that our cops and the justice system commit to finding out who the perpetrator is and help her find justice.”
Ndlozi strongly denied the rape allegation when approached for comment by Daily Sun and said he had never met the victim.
The EFF MP said it was a terrible case of mistaken identity and said he hoped police would catch the alleged perpetrator.
The EFF slammed Daily Sun for publishing the story, saying this was part of ongoing coordinated attempts to criminalise its leaders through false and malicious allegations.
“The leadership of the EFF is fully aware that there are coordinated attempts to criminalise leaders through false allegations of crime, including rape allegations,” said EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo in a strongly worded statement.
The EFF accused the publication of obtaining the affidavit illegally and said it would fully support legal action against the newspaper for “deliberately defaming Ndlozi through illegally acquired documents”.
The party further accused the government of working with the media to smear its leadership.
“There are embedded elements in the state working with the establishment that are hell-bent on linking EFF leadership to crime because they think such will prevent the unavoidable meteoric rise of the EFF to political power in SA.
“We call on all leaders of the EFF to be on alert because the enemy is out to get us. We send a very strong caution to the sitting president and his hunting dogs that we will fight with everything in our power to counter the unlawful and below the belt methods to fight political battles.”