JOHANNESBURG – State Security Minister David Mahlobo has ordered a probe into reports about his friendship with illegal rhino horn traders.
Al Jazeera reported at the weekend that suspected Chinese rhino horn trafficker, Guan Jiang Guang claims to be politically connected.
"The Minister of State Security, I know him very well. He came to my massage parlour every week or at least twice a month. I know him very well."
Guang also implicated Mahlobo's wife.
"Only his wife, he doesn't do the business. Wherever there is a big project, his wife is out front. He is behind the scenes, it’s very common here in South Africa that the wives are doing business and the husbands are acting officially. If anything happens they will mention their husband's names."
In an interview with eNCA’s Michael Appel, Mahlobo strongly denied the claims, although admitted to frequenting Guang’s spa.
He also pointed out that a number of his comrades, friends and high profile personalities visit the establishment where they usually take pictures with Guang's family and staff.
"I've taken legal action around the manner the story is being reported as fact in disregard of our own version that is actually being underscored. It's not even underscored, it's being undermined the manner it's being done there. And then the individual himself, because if he thinks he's my friend I have business dealings, let it be exposed and we deal with that."
Watch part one of the video interview in the gallery above, and part two below.