Mbalula too late to comment on sex scandal

Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula failed to buy more time to comment on a City Press story implicating him in a sex scandal on Saturday, the department said.

"We were not trying to stop the story from being published... only to have more time to send our comments to City Press, and we were too late," said spokesperson Paena Galane.

City Press editor Ferial Haffajee said Mbalula had not answered questions sent to him by the paper on Thursday afternoon.

Galane said the minister received the questions on Thursday night and was "in consultation" on Friday.

He said when Mbalula approached the Johannesburg High Court on Saturday, the application could be heard only at 18:00.

"And that was too late because City Press says it goes to print at 6pm tonight [18:00 on Saturday]."

When asked if the minister would still submit his response after the story was published, Galane said he would not, because it would be too late.

On Saturday, headline posters read "Minister In Sex Scandal".

Haffajee confirmed that the story concerned Mbalula.
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