Press Release - 08 June 2015
Your successive articles written by Samuel Mungadze, published on 12 May and 1 June 2015, as well as your editorial on 2 June 2015 are classical example of how a respected newspaper is being abused by a journalist and an editor to defame the Minister of Human Settlements. The fact that you wrote two articles and an editorial on the same issue shows your commitment to spread your fiction about the settlement.
In his latest attempt to bring the name of Minister Sisulu to the legal settlement between the Department of Human Settlements and Ms Granny Seape, the journalist recreated facts to justify a front page article. The whole story is based on "maybe" the investigation will be reopened, but it is still published on the front page.
If truth be told, the former Minister of Human Settlements suspended Ms Seape as Chairperson of the NHBRC, the High Court set aside the suspension and the investigation by the SIU against Ms Seape and her companies. The SIU also cleared Ms Seape, who, together with her companies sued for reputational damages and loss of business.
The Department of Human Settlements and senior advocates were asked to advise on the matter. Their advise was that the Department should negotiate to settle the matter to save the state costs. Based on the legal advice the matter was settled and the settlements amount was agreed by the lawyers of both parties. The details of the settlement will remain confidential but is not a secret that Ms Seape and her companies suffered reputational damage due to the "unlawful" investigation by the SIU.
It is mischievous that the journalist links the settlement for Ms Vanessa Somiah, a former employee of the NHBRC to Minister Sisulu. The Minister was not involved in this matter whatsoever, as it was between Ms Somiah and her employer.
It is a sad day when the Editor of a reputable newspaper like Business Day allows this platform, respected by so many in our country, to be used to boost a journalist’s ego and unethical activities.
Head of Communications: Ministry of Human Settlements