U.S. EnglishShow more Formed by analogy with U.S. English Watergate, and named for the then Minister of Information, C. Mulder.
The use of -gate to indicate a scandal ‘was principally a feature of U.S. English until 1978, when the South African Muldergate scandal brought it wider publicity’ (Oxford Dictionary of New Words, 1991).
The scandal, and subsequent investigation, resulting from the misappropriation of funds within the Department of Information in 1978; Info. Also attributive.
1979Daily Dispatch 16 Feb. 12I was astonished to hear some public personalities urging the country to put Muldergate behind them and get back to the job of discussing race policies.
1979Daily Dispatch 27 Mar. 13The Prime Minister, Mr P.W. Botha,..begins by explaining his view of the ‘Muldergate’ affair, which now poses a threat to his six-month-old premiership.
1982D. TutuVoice of One 80It can make or break men and women, as we very well know from recent history in the United States and our own country, in those episodes known as Watergate and Muldergate.
1982D. TutuVoice of One 95The Information Scandal (‘Muldergate’) shook many of the more principled members of the Afrikaans community.
1984D. PinnockBrotherhoods 90All three men were to be toppled from power in a prolonged but bloodless coup conducted by the military after the ‘Muldergate’ information scandal in the mid-1970s.
1990Sunday Star 11 Mar. 16If the great Info Scandal of 12 years ago was called ‘Muldergate’ (after the Minister who finally took the rap) then the stuff the Harms Commission is now investigating might as well be called Murdergate.
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