Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has regretted sending a woman R3,000 after she allegedly tried to extort money from him.
Mboweni gave “his side of the story” via a Facebook post on Saturday evening, saying he was only “trying to assist a desperate student.”
He published the WhatsApp chat between him and the woman, whom he named as Asanda Viwe, that took place on 5 September.
Viwe appears to pester Mboweni for R6,000 for what appears to be a rental deposit.
She wrote, “Its not like if I’m asking u for money to go shopping or anything like that. This I’d really urgent and important to me but no, u don’t want to say or do anything [Sic].”
When the minister didn’t respond, Viwe seemingly made an implicit threat, “Well, it’s fine Tito. Let’s see how this will end. Have a great week.”
Mboweni said he finally relented and asked for her bank account details.
He wrote, “Account details sent but names different. I smell a rat! R3,000.00 deposited. Trying to assist a desperate student, so it seemed. Naively.”
Thulani Majola’s ‘R100,000 offer’
However, Mboweni said Viwe subsequently told him that a businessman, Thulani Majola, was offering her R100,000 to “expose” their WhatsApp chats and “voice call recordings.”
Viwe said she initially agreed, but changed her mind because Mboweni is “a very kind and sweet man” and “a father figure.”
Nevertheless, she asked for more money from the minister, “I have not told him that I’m no longer doing this for him but will do so tonight before I change my number. All I’m asking for you is R7k so I can pay my rent and settle my outstanding registration fee. Then I will leave you alone in peace [Sic].”
Mboweni said “out of the blue,” he received inquiries from a Sunday World reporter about the matter.
At this point, he said he decided to contact his lawyers. He wrote, “I went to my lawyers to ask that we write legal letters to Asanda (her name) and Thulani Majola to Stop and Desist this nonsense or else we will bring charges against them for extortion and injury to the person.”
He concluded, “That is my side of the story. LESSON LEARNT: DO NOT BE KIND TO PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW.”
Both Viwe and Majola have not publicly reacted to the matter.