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Four ANC MPs implicated in State Capture off the hook after Parliament’s ethics committee finds no breach of code

Four ANC MPs implicated in State Capture off the hook after Parliament’s ethics committee finds no breach of code
ANC MPs from left: Thulas Nxesi. (Photo: Leila Dougan) | Cedric Frolick. (Photo: Gallo Images / Papi Morake) | Winnie Ngwenya. (Photo: Supplied) | Mosebenzi Zwane. (Photo: Gallo Images / Volksblad / Mlungisi Louw)

Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests has cleared four ANC MPs — Thulas Nxesi, Cedric Frolick, Mosebenzi Zwane and Winnie Ngwenya — after they were implicated in the State Capture report.

Fifteen months after the release of the fifth and final instalment of Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s State Capture Inquiry report, which implicated several high-ranking politicians, Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests has cleared four senior ANC MPs.  

Among them is Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi, who was fingered in Part 4 of the commission’s report. He was accused of being among the “perceived politically connected people” who received payments from controversial businessman Edwin Sodi.  

Sodi and his late business partner Ignatius “Igo” Mpambani formed a joint venture that scored the R255-million asbestos removal project in the Free State in 2014.

Sodi’s business, Blackhead Consulting, was also among several companies involved in a similar asbestos project in Gauteng, both of which were a sham.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘I like my holy waters,’ boasts Edwin Sodi, winner of R255-million Free State asbestos contract 

In his defence, Nxesi provided the committee with an affidavit stating that the payments were not for his gain but for fundraising purposes, which tallied with Sodi’s explanation of the payments, as he had not provided any goods or services to Blackhead. 

“The member clarified that his name appeared as a reference for the payment but that the payment was not made to him. Rather, the payment was the result of a fund-raising initiative he undertook to raise money to assist two families in financial need,” said the parliamentary committee in a statement released on Tuesday.

“The committee considered the proof of the payments and found that it confirms the version of events as explained by the member. The committee found that the member did not breach the code.” 

The committee also cleared ANC MP Cedric Frolick, who was implicated in Part 3 of Zondo’s report. Frolic was accused of having dodgy dealings with Bosasa.

He is said to have played a critical role in “winning over Mr Vincent Smith, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services and Justice” for Bosasa’s benefit. In 2020, Smith was criminally charged in relation to corruption allegations related to Bosasa. The case is ongoing. 

Frolick allegedly received from Bosasa a R40,000 monthly payment as well as accommodation at City Lodge OR Tambo from 21 to 22 August 2021, costing R2,744.28.  

Regarding these allegations, the committee said that Frolick’s alleged actions predated its adoption of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests, which could not be applied retrospectively.

The committee also cleared former mineral resources minister and current MP Mosebenzi Zwane. Activist Zackie Achmat submitted a complaint against the MP for an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct relating to Zwane’s involvement with the controversial Gupta family’s Vrede dairy farm matter and called for him to be disqualified from Parliament. 

However, the committee found that the matter fell out of its jurisdiction as Zwane was an MEC in the Free State at the time and not a member of Parliament. 

Another MP who was referred to the committee is Winnie Ngwenya, who was accused of taking money from Bosasa while she was a member of the portfolio committee on correctional services.

At the State Capture Inquiry, the former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi and former correctional services committee chairperson Dennis Bloem testified about Ngwenya. She allegedly took money from Bosasa to act on its behalf in the correctional services committee.

In her defence, Ngwenya, who appeared before the ethics committee on two occasions, denied the allegations against her, which the committee found satisfactory. 

“She indicated that she does not know why Mr Bloem implicated her in the Bosasa matter. She also indicated that she never met Mr Smith at a hotel in Rivonia Road. She also indicated that she does not reside close to the Bosasa offices. The committee accepted the explanation by the Member and found that the Member did not breach the Code,” the committee said.

The findings come a day after the committee found EFF MP and chief whip Floyd Shivambu had breached the code of conduct after failing to declare that he received R180,000 in 2017 from his brother’s company, Sgameka Projects, which was implicated in the VBS bank scandal. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    ANC = weak. ANC = lazy. ANC = useless. ANC = corruption.

    It’s so obvious.
    And so sad for all of us.

    Vote for the party that can save all of us, in all our beautiful colours.

    Vote DA.

    • Peter Smith says:

      Its true, but the DA is not the answer either. The DA has run Tshwane into the ground by approving a 28% salary increase in 2021 which bankrupted the city. This is despite a 95% collection rate. Since 2015, they underspent more than R20bn on capital which is why the city is falling apart. They underspent more than R15bn on maintenance. If the DA cannot manage Tshwane, how can they govern the country?

      • Denise Smit says:

        If we have friends like you, who needs an enemy. So what do you propose? You should stop this playing into the hands of ANC/EFF. Are you too blind to see? Or are you the spokesperson of the ANC/EFF. you distort facts. The Tswane municipality have been under ANC government as well and that is where the problems started. Since then it has been unstable and has not been in a stable coalition. Action SA is not really a good coalition party as they are willing to go with EFF as Herman Mashaba has shown. Denise Smit

        Denise Smit

        • Nonnie Oelofse says:

          YOU ARE DISTORTING THE FACTS…THE ANC RAN TSWANE INTO THE GROUND FIR NANY YEARS BEFORE THE DA TOOK OVER. THISE WAGE NEGOTIATIONS WERE DONE BY THE ANC BEFORE THE DA TOOK OVER!!!! PLEASE, JUST STOP LYING AND GET YOUR FACTS IN ORDER….YOUR ANC RAN THIS WHOLE COUNTRY INTO BANCKRUPCY OVER A 30 YEAR PERIOD AND YOU EXPECT THE DA TO INDO THAT IN 3 YEARS TIME…😱😱

          • William Dryden says:

            Nonnie you are quite correct, Peter Smith seems like a mouth piece for the ANC.

          • Con Tester says:

            Please don’t write in all-caps. It’s rude and antagonistic, and subtracts from the points you want to make.

      • Philemon Solomon says:

        Your argument is pointless and helps NO one. Used by too many to get off their lazy backside and vote. There are 7 parties to choose from in the alliance, find one, ANY one, pull finger and get out there and vote Otherwise you are part of the problem. Next year is literally our last hope to maybe save SA.
        Oh and tell your friends!

      • Steve Davidson says:

        Test

      • Steve Davidson says:

        I agree with the other posters below, and would suggest you’re an ANC troll?

      • Steve Davidson says:

        I agree with the other posters below.

      • Steve Davidson says:

        I’d suggest you come down to the Cape and see how the DA do things incredibly well at both provincial and municipal level despite, for example, having to deal with about 3 million economic and other refugees from said EC.

      • Steve Davidson says:

        I’d suggest you come down to the Cape and see how the DA do things incredibly well at both provincial and municipal level.

      • Steve Davidson says:

        Despite, for example, having to deal with about 3 million economic and other refugees from said EC.

      • Steve Davidson says:

        ANC.

      • Mike Schroeder says:

        Just take a look at what the DA is doing in WP and CPT … then you’ll know EXACTLY what they can do for the country!
        Or would you rather have the ANC, (no chance) ActionSA, (no chance) BOSA, (no chance) FF+ or (God forbid) EFF running the country?

      • Con Tester says:

        In Tshwane and Joburg, the DA had to contend with directed and deliberate sabotage by the ANC / EFF axis of venal crooks and reactionaries who feared only that their crookedness and incompetence would be exposed by DA rule.

        The DA inherited rotten lemons from the prior landlords, and the latter threw festering ordure their way to promote the putrefaction.

        Your “argument” is as much of a hollow sham as your nom de plume is.

  • Denise Smit says:

    This is not weakness or laziness, it is cadre machinations at its best. The corrupt cadres in unity protecting the corrupt cadres. The party has spoken. The same thing playing out with the investigation into Phala Phala. The ANC/EFF unity at its best. Action SA should learn from this if it is serious in its opposition next year, and Rise Mansi, and One SA. If they really want to be an opposition next year they must focus on exposing the ANC/EFF and not on opposing the DA or other opposition parties. Try to act as unified opposition. Denise Smit

  • Louise Louise says:

    Please could DM provide a list of the criminals in both national and local government who have actually gone to jail for their crimes? My impression is that there are very few?

  • Hilary Morris says:

    “They said they didn’t do it.” Well, that’s a relief. Clearly they’re innocent! Dear God, does it get more ridiculous than this? The ANC would spare themselves much embarrassment (assuming they understand what that is), if they just disband the so called Ethics Committee.

  • virginia crawford says:

    The Zondo Commission cost billions and has achieved what exactly? If it was all just a show, then that is also a form of corruption. The Ethics Committee – very 1984!

  • Lil Mars says:

    Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests is a farce. They undermine the findings of the expensive Zondo commission. Criminals 1 – Taxpayers 0.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    If anyone needed anymore proof on how disgusting, treasonous and wicked the anc and its members are, this is it! They make a mockery of any justice and look after their own to the detriment of the law, the Constitution and every decent and honest South African. These 4 scumbags, just a fraction of the corrupt and rapacious cadres, are guilty to their eyeballs. A very sad day for South Africa that our parliament, who are supposed to oversee and prevent abuse, theft and corruption absolve these thieves from any consequences. This is nothing but high treason! We are a gangster state, ruled by a ruthless, predatory and vile cabal of the most sleazy and revolting. The same applies to the EFFthieves.

  • Nic Bosveld says:

    Another 100% useless committee, filled with cadres, that serves no purpose to you and me, but are paid by you and me.

    Makes me sick.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    “Ethics Committee” I want to puke.

  • So, the Ethics committee is higher than any court of law? After you have been named, no court proceedings follow, you just sit back and wait. You don’t even have to meet anyone at OR Tambo to organise a gift. Your ethical friends guarantee you will be free to take again.
    What a devastating shame it’s becoming to even admit to being a South African.
    My eyes are bleeding. Every single hour there is another travesty of justice.
    Stop the interviews for judges, not needed in this country or environment.
    The corrupt will sort you out my brothers and sisters, my comrades.
    To date no party is showing any capacity to take this country forward. No coalition will work. The solution will be a majority in parliament and the backing from an avenue as yet untapped. Strength is what’s required not talk.

  • Colin Braude says:

    Firepool or Phalaphala redux.

  • Koggel Mander says:

    Blame the ANC for the Zondo commission – all that time, energy and taxpayers’ money spent, when the ANC knew all the time they are just fooling us again. They obviously never had any intention to take the outcomes of Zondo seriously.

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      Anyone who thought the Zondo commission would lead to more than the countless commissions of enquiry before it beyond spending more money has my sympathy. I’d encourage them to get in touch to discuss a guaranteed 300% per month return investment opportunity which I have exclusive access to.

  • Michael Thomlinson says:

    We, the tax payers, simply become more cynical by the day. I for one don’t believe anything that comes out of these committees – this is just a cover up and a means of looking after the comrades. The word “Comrades” says it all, like an exclusive club – once you have paid your dues it will protect you.

  • Con Tester says:

    It would have been great to have a parliament that actually does its job, a big part of which is self-regulation, overseeing the executive, and protecting the principles of constitutional democracy. That ours failed abysmally in this respect hardly comes as a surprise, given that this Joint Committee on “Ethics” (Ha!) and Members’ Interests is peopled by shady individuals.

    Even so, this isn’t necessarily bad news so much as it is disappointing news. The ANC is clearly doing pre-election 2024 exercises of closing its ranks in a ham-fisted attempt to attract voters. There is compelling evidence in the public domain supporting the execrable crookedness of some of these “exonerated” individuals. Thus, the ANC keeps shooting itself and its “renewal” spiel in the foot with these contemptible theatrics because it forgets that the electorate isn’t quite as stupid as it hopes.

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      The electorate may be even stupider than they hope. The ANC and EFF got 56% of the vote nationally and just shy of 71% in the EC in 2021. That required olympian stupidity.

      • Con Tester says:

        The rapidly declining poll figures over the past few election cycles quite strongly suggest otherwise. The trouble is not so much that the electorate, on the whole, can’t tell that it’s being blatantly lied to, but rather that it sees no viable alternative, and so just doesn’t bother to vote.

        This is the great failing of the opposition parties, not one of the electorate’s cognitive abilities. The opposition, instead of constantly focussing on all of the ANC & Co.’s many defects and trumpeting those shortcomings as victories, should rather put some serious effort into finding ways of speaking a language that resonates with the electorate because these constant petty political squabbles we see don’t help anyone and only breed counterproductive antagonism.

        • Middle aged Mike says:

          That sounds like serious excuse making for stupid behaviour and blame shifting. Not voting is stupid by definition as it robs you of a say in how your future and that of your offspring plays out.

          How can you be smart enough to move to the WC from the paradise that is the EC but not be smart enough to make the connection between that desire and the push and pull factors that informed the choice? I’d be interested to hear what this message is that you think will resonate with people who choose to vote for the stars of the Zondo report. My gut tells me that if you haven’t figured out by this stage that a vote for the ANC or the EFF is a vote for wholesale theft and an eventual collapse of the country you probably aren’t very receptive to messaging that’s grounded in reality.

          • Con Tester says:

            At this point, it’s an open question whether that migration to the WC will significantly dent the DA’s majority there. If in next year’s elections the ANC enjoys a significant upswing in the WC, only then would it be convincing to accuse that migrated portion of the electorate of being collectively stupid. We’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out.

            In any case, the number of ANC-supporting eligible voters nationally who simply don’t vote far outweighs the number who migrate to the WC, and the reasons they don’t bother to vote are not hard to fathom. The more important point is that, for whatever reasons, it’s not obvious to them that any real alternative exists. That’s a symptom of ignorance, not necessarily one of stupidity. The ANC has engineered this situation, not by design, but as a happy consequence of its incompetence, venality, and many, many failings.

            As for the message that opposition parties should be spreading, I don’t know. I’m not a political strategist. But what *is* abundantly clear is that the current approach, based on continually pointing at the ANC’s abysmal record, is flatly wrong and isn’t winning them any new friends. It succeeds only in alienating and polarising the electorate.

        • Senzo Moyakhe says:

          The general tone of the bulk of opposition supporters that regularly comment on the DM articles is a microcosm of what is happening in the SA political landscape. The consistent blinkered approach to your contributions here reflects the key failures of the opposition parties to pull in the disillusioned voters of the SA electorate.

  • Yahya Atiya says:

    Oh well. That’s good. All you have to do is say “Hey, I didn’t do what they say I did, and I don’t know why they said it” to be absolved.
    Bloody joke.

  • Michael Clark says:

    A major problem the DA have when dealing with previous ANC run councils is they are left with cadre hired useless ANC thieves and liars aka civil servants appointed by “Peter Smith” and his cadres at Lootfreely House who will do anything to sabotage the changes the DA try and make.

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