JOHANNESBURG - Controversial preacher TB Joshua paid survivors of a Nigerian building disaster R2,000 each, a South African official said on Saturday.
The news coincided with a report from journalist Nicholas Ibekwe that Joshua had allegedly tried to bribe a journalist in order to secure favourable coverage of the accident which happened last Friday. (LISTEN TO AUDIO IN TWEET BELOW)
"Btw #TBJoshua gave survivors of the #collapsedbuilding R2000.00 each as they were returning to SA. Another bribe or gift?" Clayson Monyela, a spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) tweeted on Saturday.
Monyela later told eNCA.com that he had heard about the R2,000 payment from South Africans who had survived the tragedy.
They're already calling friends and family to warn me to stop. Let me make myself clear. I won't unless they STOP me!— Nicholas Ibekwe (@nicholasibekwe) September 20, 2014
Reporting of building collapse in the Nigerian media is too kind on TB Joshua. Could this be because his doles out cash daily to reporters?— Nicholas Ibekwe (@nicholasibekwe) September 20, 2014
Last Sunday, I was the only journalist who turned down TB Joshua's N50,000 bribe offered to each reporters.— Nicholas Ibekwe (@nicholasibekwe) September 20, 2014
I've just been told that foreign journalists were also offered money but they politely turned it down.— Nicholas Ibekwe (@nicholasibekwe) September 20, 2014