1. On 28 October 2022, the Star newspaper owned by the Sekunjalo Group of Companies published another article entitled “Sex scandal rocks Home Affairs” in both its print and electronic platforms. It is now clear to the ordinary reader that the Star newspaper is on a sponsored mission to tarnish the name of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in order to please its handlers and masters. The Star newspaper and its handlers will not achieve the intended purpose.
Unfounded allegations against Mr Modiri Matthews
2. The Star newspaper published unfounded allegations against Mr Modiri Matthews without the benefit of the right to answer to the questions sent to the DHA.
3. First, Mr Modiri Matthews (Mr Matthews) had no romantic relationship with an ex-employee of the DHA. The said employee is not in the employ of the Office of the Presidency.
4. Second, Mr Matthews was never issued with any letter of suspension relating to the alleged corrupt activities. In the same vein, the respected Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Dr Naledi Pandor, could not have intervened in circumstances in which there was no intention by the DHA to suspend Mr Matthews. At any rate, it would be objectionable for any Minister to instruct another Minister on what to do in their Department.
5. Third, Mr Matthews was not involved in the matter involving the refugees who occupied the Central Methodist Church in Cape Town. The Court records will reveal that he did not even depose to an affidavit on behalf of the Minister and the DHA in that matter. It is therefore preposterous to suggest that the DHA would have issued the letter of suspension based on that matter.
6. Fourth, the Minister challenges the Star newspaper to secure and produce the alleged letter of suspension from its so-called sources from the DHA and publish it. The Minister believes that such sources do not exist as they remain faceless. Any employee who blows the whistle on corrupt activities will enjoy the full protection of the law, including the witness protection under the National Prosecuting Authority.
Further questions from the Star newspaper
7. It would serve no useful purpose to respond to a set of questions sent by the Star Newspaper on 26 October 2022, suffice to mention that the process to find a service provider for visa facilitation services is underway.
8. Finally, the Minister has responded to the earlier unfounded allegations through the Press Statement annexed hereto marked “A”. The Star newspaper deliberately failed to publish the said Press Statement, which is a sign of a wounded and harmless lion. Its action will definitely lead readers to ignore most of the articles published by it.
Bongi Gwala 066 588 3251 (Head of Communication: Department of Home Affairs)
Siya Qoza, 082 898 1657 (Spokesperson for the Minister of Home Affairs)
David Hlabane, 071 342 4284 (Media Manager: Department of Home Affairs)
ISSUED BY DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS