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  1. 1

    Curios

    Can Mr Sole please explain what the 2001 cheque was actually issued for?

  2. 2

    Editor

    From the Mail&Guardian’s statement on the issue at the time:

    We will not point out all the inaccuracies in Mr Gumede’s
    statement, but we will deal with a few.

    Mr Gumede makes much of a payment of R900 made to Sam Sole by
    John Sterenborg in June 2001.

    Mr Sterenborg is a former business partner of Mr Gumede who has
    been engaged in protracted legal battles with Mr Gumede over the dissolution of
    their association in smart-card company Applied Card Technologies, in which Mr
    Gumede invested.

    The facts of this payment are as follows.

    Mr Sole was working at the time for the investigative magazine
    Noseweek. The editor of Noseweek, Mr Martin Welz, reached an agreement with Mr
    Sterenborg that Mr Sterenborg would cover the cost of Sam Sole flying from
    Durban to Johannesburg to hear Mr Sterenborg’s story, given that Noseweek could
    not afford such expenses on a speculative journey.

    This was Mr Welz’s decision not Mr Sole’s.

    In the end Mr Sole paid for the ticket and was re-imbursed by Mr
    Sterenborg and constituted no benefit to Sole.

    Mr Sterenborg’s story, which included allegations about Mr
    Gumede, was not backed by sufficient evidence and no story was ever written by
    Sole for Noseweek, let alone published.

    The attempt by Mr Gumede to portray this as some kind of
    “alleged bribery” is simply unsustainable.

    Mr Sole did write a series of articles featuring Mr Gumede’s
    conflict with Mr Sterenborg, but that was nearly two years later, and we stand
    by the content of these articles

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