A “prominent” businessman has reportedly offered a woman R100,000 to publicise WhatsApp chats and recorded conversations she had with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, News24 reports.
Both the businessman and woman’s identities remain undisclosed.
According to the report, Mboweni has threatened to take legal action against the woman for alleged attempted extortion.
The Finance Minister reportedly met the woman over the internet, but he insists that they never went ahead to meet in person.
The woman apparently asked Mboweni for money to pay her rent, but he refused to send her the funds.
Mboweni has not yet commented publicly on the matter.
He is one of the more active politicians on social media and is popular for his informal and humorous posts.
He regularly shares his cooking “experiments” on Twitter and Facebook. More recently, he took jokes about his “old” shoes in his stride.
It is perhaps because of his social media activity and huge following that he has got into trouble with unscrupulous elements from time to time.
On 10 October, he revealed on Facebook that his account had been “infiltrated.”
He wrote, “Good evening everyone. My account seems to be infiltrated by some people. I am not asking for money. Imagine… Just ignore them. But I am not closing my address. I refuse to be bullied.”
One of Mboweni’s followers, Sai Mayor Jola, commented on his post with a screenshot of a WhatsApp chat with a person purporting to be the minister.
The person requested Jola to send him R1,500 via eWallet. However, Jola didn’t fall for the scam.