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Zizi Kodwa resigns as Minister after appearing in court on State Capture corruption charges

Zizi Kodwa resigns  as Minister after appearing in court on State Capture corruption charges
Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Sports, Arts, and Culture minister Zizi Kodwa has resigned amidst corruption charges involving alleged bribes and luxury perks totalling over R1.6-million.

Corruption accused Zizi Kodwa has stepped down as Sports, Arts and Culture minister with immediate effect following his first court appearance on Wednesday.

He and a businessman Jehan Mackay were arrested on charges in connection with State Capture and were released on R30,000 bail each in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Wednesday.

Kodwa’s spokesperson Litha Mpondwana confirmed on Wednesday that  Kodwa had resigned  as Minister with immediate effect, adding that he strongly denies the charges against him.

Kodwa was 25th on the ANC’s national list of members headed for parliament following the country’s elections on May 29.

Read more in Daily Maverick: The ANC haemorrhaging continues — Cele, Modise, Zulu and Pandor won’t return as MPs 

At a media briefing on Wednesday, ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said the step-aside policy would kick in after Kodwa was formally charged. “We respect the rule of law,” she said. “There is really no question about that. All I can say is that we have noted that (the court appearance) and the step aside policy will kick in.”

It was Kodwa’s first court appearance in connection with corruption charges, alleging that he received R1.6-million in bribes between April 2015 and February 2016.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ANC’s Gigaba, Mahlobo, Kodwa, and Frolick recommended for parliamentary chop amid NEC objections

Mackay is a businessman and director of Tactical Software Systems (TSS) and former Senior Executive of Enterprise Outsourcing Holdings (EOH).

Brigadier Thandi Mbambo, the Hawks’ spokesperson, confirmed that two people were arrested on Wednesday morning in response to the Zondo Commission’s recommendations on State Capture.

According to state prosecutor Neville Mogagabe, the two were charged with violating the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca) and corruption. Mogagabe also told the court that the State would not oppose their release on bail.

Corruption allegations

In part four of the report from the State Capture Commission, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo recommended President Cyril Ramaphosa “consider” Kodwa’s position in regard to the debts he owes to Mackay, who is accused of bribing politicians and paying donations to the ANC to win lucrative government contracts.

Zondo found that in 2015 and 2016 EOH entities and Mackay made cash payments totalling R1.68-million for Kodwa’s benefit, including a R1-million loan, which Kodwa used to buy a car, and hundreds of thousands spent on luxury accommodation. Mackay spent another R30,000 on Kodwa’s behalf.

Hence in April 2022, Zondo recommended that Ramaphosa ‘consider’ Kodwa’s job after finding he was financially beholden to EOH’s Jehan Mackay.

Kodwa, during his testimony at the Zondo Commission in June 2021 regarding his relationship with former Mackay, testified that he met Mackay in 2013 and the pair became friends.

In 2015, Mackay gave Kodwa R1-million and Kodwa used R890,000 of it to buy a Jeep vehicle. Kodwa, who was then the national ANC spokesperson and an NEC member, said he was struggling financially at the time.

“I confirm this was a loan from a friend and no strings attached. I obtained it at a time of financial difficulty and would not have been able to secure a bank loan,” Kodwa testified.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Zizi Kodwa denies he’s compromised while owing R1m to friend implicated in fraud, corruption”

State Capture

It is the State’s contention that during the period from April 2015 to February 2016, when Kodwa was employed as the National Spokesperson of the African National Congress (ANC), he received direct payments and luxury accommodation worth over R1.6 million paid by and/or facilitated by Mackay as gratifications for his interventions in government procurement processes to advance the interests of Mackay, TSS and EOH.

Outlining the alleged corruption, NPA Regional Spokesperson-Gauteng Division, Johannesburg, Phindi Mjonondwane said: “In February 2015, the State Information Technology Agency (Sita), a State-owned company charged with the responsibility of IT services to the government, advertised a tender worth R360-million for the appointment of two separate service providers for the provision of platinum access service solution for the government for five years as SITA could not render the said service.

“Nine companies, including EOH, were shortlisted for the tender and communication between the two accused suggests that EOH was disqualified and that Mackay then approached Kodwa for his intervention which allegedly resulted in the tender being cancelled.”

Mjonondwane reiterated this case is part of the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) response to the findings and recommendations of the State Capture inquiry.

“In trying to meet the demands emanating from the commission’s reports, the NPA established a joint task force in November 2022, comprising various law enforcement agencies like the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to ensure collaboration and a coordinated structure that is case driven.

“We continue to guide and monitor investigations in cases emanating from the commission’s reports to ensure that alleged perpetrators of State Capture face justice. This case builds on the dozens of enrolments of high-profile State Capture corruption matters and the convictions of hundreds of government officials for corruption over the past five years,” Mjonondwane added.

Bail arguments

Advocates JJ Smit and Zola Majavu for both Mackay and Kodwa read into record both their clients’ affidavits for bail. Both accused stated they were not a flight risk, would not evade the trial, not interfere with witnesses and it is in the interest of justice that they be released on bail.

Mogagabe also informed the court that the State would not oppose their release on bail.

Presiding judge Sheron Rantao released the pair on R30,000 bail each with the condition that they attend all court proceedings, not interfere with witnesses, and that if they wish to travel outside of the province, they must consult with the investigating officer.

The matter has been reprimanded until 23 July 2024, during which time the State will provide the defence with a copy of the docket so that consultations can be held and instructions from their respective clients taken. DM

Update – On Friday, 7 June, 2024, President Cyril Ramaphosa  released a statement that he has appointed Minister Maropene Ramokgopa to act as Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture until a permanent appointment is made under the new 7th administration, yet to be determined.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Just Me says:

    Are there any ANC cadres left who are not corrupt?

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    Good, wheels finally starting to turn.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Exactly. We need to start opening our eyes and minds to the good things are happening. Perfect, no – but they are critical first steps in the right direction.

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    So can we only hope that Fikile is next, with his Sedgers friends…?

  • Alley Cat says:

    And long may it continue. Let’s hope that this is the first of many big fish that will get what is coming to them. I also hope that the NPA doesn’t F this one up!!!

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      I’ve given up on he NPA. Their rate of effing up cases that involve anybody above ankle level in the in the glorious liberation movements hierarchy strikes me as fishy. I very much hope I’m wrong but I suspect they’re captured.

  • Will Elder says:

    “reprimanded” in final paragraph ? – remanded ?

  • M D Fraser says:

    Who does the proofreading of these articles ? They should be shot !
    Normally I just laugh the errors off, but , ‘the matter being reprimanded”, instead of remanded simply can’t go unchallenged.

    • Random Comment says:

      The sub-editor should be remanded! Snork!

    • Graeme J says:

      I agree the proof reading is up the spout. But at least DM is the best investigative publication we have. Just try reading some junk of the likes of N24 and Citizen.

      • Random Comment says:

        Graeme, for some light relief, try the op-eds and “investigative journalism” over at Surve Towers (IOL) – some allegedly written by Mr. S himself.
        This morning’s gem is titled, “The Counter-revolutionary Cabal selling out the NDR”.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      The DM does an amazing job of juggling the scalding balls of “speed” vs “accuracy”. I don’t want to be rude but I would really love to see you do better. (and if you don’t approve of the quality of the content I challenge you to find another publication that is better and move there)

  • Hilary Morris says:

    And how many more to follow?

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    Likely story that. You’re in financial bad enough that you aren’t credit worthy trouble so your mate gives you a ‘loan’ and you spend R890k of it on some bling wheels. 5 bucks says there’s no evidence of any repayments being made.

    • Ernest Lintnaar says:

      I honestly believe that the ANC hhad an idea they would do exceptionally bad ( not bad enough though) and all these cases will crop up, and more will go the same way. The Speaker was not coincidence, neither is Kodwa…they are the “fall guys” in this equation…

  • Alan Watkins says:

    “Hence in April 2022, Zondo recommended that Ramaphosa ‘consider’ Kodwa’s job after finding he was financially beholden to EOH’s Jehan Mackay.”

    Note dates. Original loan/bribe was 2015. Zondo’s bit was over 2 years ago. No part of the “loan” was repaid by April 2022.
    Throw the book at him

  • Andrew R says:

    When parliament is dissolved before elections, doesn’t the term for MPs (and therefore ministers) automatically expire? Would a resignation be necessary, isn’t he unemployed as a result of the term of parliament ending?

    • Dee Gasa says:

      Yes. But he’s 25th on the ANC’s list, he was going back to parliament therefore had to resign. Atleast that’s how I understand it.

  • Maronga Maronga says:

    You get 1 million when you broke you spend 90%on a fuel guzzler. Give better reasons to show your 4 yrs as Dp Minister of Intelligence. A fool and his money easily part. Especially what you did not work for

  • Eon van Wyk says:

    R30 000 is nothing for them. If anything, the bail should be double just because he is a politician.

  • Helen Swingler says:

    Struggling financially so the minister takes a ‘loan’ and buys a Jeep?

    • Andrew Wallace says:

      Extract from the ministerial handbook at that time states as below………….so why would anyone need to purchase a 3rd vehicle ?

      The Ministerial Handbook clearly states in Chapter 5 No 1.2.1: Members at national level may be provided with one vehicle for use in Cape Town and one vehicle for use in Pretoria. The total purchase price of the vehicle may not exceed 70% of the inclusive annual remuneration package of a Minister as may be amended from time to time on recommendation of the Commission for the Remuneration of Political Members.

  • Bob Kuhn says:

    Save your “reprimand” for the accused, not the trial!

  • Robert de Vos says:

    R1.6-million in bribes??? That’s “chump change” as I remember someone in their circle saying.

  • Les Thorpe says:

    Sadly this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. But this is only an arrest with a concomitant release on bail, as with the hundreds of others arrests and releases on bail. However, as the trial will probably go on for years and years, as with all of the other fraud/corruption arrest trials, I don’t think there is a reason to celebrate yet. For example, the Vincent Smith trial has been going on for years and years without resolution. Kodwa’s trial will be no different. Note that a common excuse proffered by the perps that being that the “bribe” wasn’t a “bribe”, it was a “loan”. ANC politicos appear to require lots of “loans” these days!!

  • Ernest Lintnaar says:

    Marvelous, now can we have our street names back, and call Port Elizabeth PE again, oh, and dont forget about that R20 million flag idea, what an absolute joke that was

  • Iam Fedup says:

    To coin a phrase, I’m loving it. As the ANC skittles fall, imagine all the ex-ministers and ex-MPs in the bank manager’s office begging for loans to pay off their considerable debts. Now they have no more power/influence: who will sponsor their immorality? No more washing hands in expensive whiskey.

  • Allison Alan-Brown says:

    The matter has been reprimanded, hey? Hope the matter is duly smarting:)

  • Leslie Stelfox says:

    When will the NPA be going for Zuma?

  • Hidden Name says:

    Not to be a grammar nazi (but I am going to anyway) its remanded, not reprimanded….means something drastically different:). Actually, deferred would have been a better way to put it….

  • Lubabalo mokapane says:

    My steal when getting paid so much and also getting perks!!

    i dont understand why??

  • debruinfam says:

    Why is the NPA so quick on him and Malusi Gigabytes with a much larger account is still roaming freely?

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