Mbombela – Rise Mzansi has suspended its Mpumalanga provincial campaign coordinator, Sipho Mawelela over bribery allegations.

The party said Mawelela will remain suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation over allegations that he attempted bribe a journalist at Rio-Jab Media, not publish a story about his fraud related criminal record.

According to Rio-Jab Media, the online news publication sent Mawelela an inquiry regarding his criminal record and if he indeed spent time behind bars for a fraud conviction.

“Instead of responding to the media inquiry, Mawelele made several frantic calls to Rio-Jab Media’s Marketing Executive, Mulawu Mathye. He asked Mathye to speak to the journalist not to publish the story about his criminal record as the timing was very wrong.” – Riot Hlatshwayo, Rio-Jab Media

The publication said when his attempts to get the story canned failed, he then offered a R5 000 bribe and an advertising tender worth R14 500 from Rise Mzansi.

“Rio-Jab Media immediately sent a voice note to the Hawks in Mpumalanga about Mawelela’s intentions of bribing the media in order to hide his shenanigans.” added Hlatshwayo

“Rio-Jab Media wrote to Rise Mzansi’s national leadership and explained all what had transpired. Subsequently, Rise Mzansi suspended Mawelele with immediate effect. ”

Speaking to Rise FM News, Rise Mzansi’s National Communication Director, Mabine Seabe said the party has deployed its strategic campaigns advisor, Khume Ramulifho to lead the province until the elections. Seabe also confirmed that the party was not aware of Mawelela’s criminal record.

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