23-year-old South African Woman Denies Being ‘Gifted As A Wife’

A South African woman has denied she was given as a “gift” to the actiong chief operations officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

23-year-old Vanessa Mutswari lamented that the allegation may ruin her plans to marry another man.

“I’m saying with my own mouth, I was not given to anybody,” Ms Mutswari, speaking through an interpreter said.

The Sowetan paper had earlier in the month reported that chiefs from the Venda ethnic group gave Ms Mutswari as a bride to the SABC’s Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The chiefs were part of a group asking for more programmes to be broadcast in the minority Venda language.

Following the allegation, South Africa’s Commission for Gender Equality launched an investigation last week into the reports that the SABC’s Motsoeneng had received a bride as a gift.

According to The Sowetan, the Venda lobby group, Mudzi wa Vhurereli ha Vhavenda, had paraded 10 women before Mr Motsoeneng when he visited them in the northern Limpopo province. He then chose the woman he liked, it reported.

A spokesperson for the Venda cultural group, Gladys Nethengwe, said the SABC – and not Mr Motsoeneng personally – had only been given a cow and a calf as a gift.

“You [the media] have destroyed us… We are worn out. Our hearts are bleeding for what you
did,” she said.

Editor of The Sowetan, Mpumelelo Mkhabela was however quoted by South Africa’s Mail
and Guardian newspaper as saying the paper stood by its story.