Zizi Kodwa casts doubt on State’s case



Published Jun 6, 2024


Former minister of sports, arts and culture Zizi Kodwa believes that the State’s case against him is weak, as it relies on his testimony before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

Kodwa tendered his resignation as minister on Wednesday after appearing in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on corruption charges alongside co-accused, EOH boss Jehan Mackay.

The charges relate to allegations that Kodwa influenced the awarding of contracts during his time as ANC spokesperson and member of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) between April 2015 and February 2016.

Kodwa and his co-accused were granted R30 000 bail each and the matter was postponed to July 23.

Arguing for his client, Zola Majavu accused the State of leaking the charge sheet to members of the media, while Kodwa only received the document moments before the hearing started.

Through Majavu, Kodwa said: “At this stage, I gather that my prosecution is a sequel to the findings and recommendations from the state capture commission and/or some parts of my testimony to the commission.

“I went to the commission out of a deep sense of respect for the rule of law and participated with a clean conscience and in line with the willingness to be held accountable. I never located myself as being above the law.”

Majavu said: “Regardless what you may decide, your worship, my client has instructed me to firmly place this on record that at the first available opportunity and just one phone call by the investigating officer, he was raring to go ...

“Lo and behold, out of the goodness of his heart, and as a respectable citizen, his imminent arrest was publicised and information pertaining to the details regarding the charges was given to the media.

“I say this as his only legal representative, I have had sight of the charge sheet only just today, literally here in court, and it is a carbon copy of what is contained here. I implore the court to take judicial notice of that.”

Sports, Arts and Culture spokesperson Litha Mpondwana said Kodwa’s resignation was not an admission of guilt on his part, but an act of “sincere appreciation” of the institution he leads.

Kodwa had already informed President Cyril Ramaphosa of his decision.

Mpondwana said: “Mr Zizi Kodwa, MP, announces his immediate resignation as Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. This comes as Mr Kodwa challenges the charges against him, whichhe strongly denies.

“Mr Kodwa has informed the President that he will resign as Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture and Member of Cabinet after being formally charged.”

Responding to the media, NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane denied that the State had a weak case and relied on the commission for its investigation.

“We have not relied on the state capture report, but have done our own investigation which has been completed.

“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 co-ordinated 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,” she said.

Kodwa’s immediate resignation also comes after the SA Roadies Association (Sara) last week served his department with court papers, seeking that the courts declare the appointment of the current National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) board unlawful after being accused of not following the rules.

Before the resignation, ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri had said the party’s step-aside rule would certainly apply to Kodwa.

Bhengu-Motsiri said: “All I can say is that we have noted that and the stepaside policy of the ANC will kick in, or shall I say the constitution of the ANC will kick in ... because we respect the will of the law ... there’s really no question about that.”

*Additional reporting by Kamogelo Moichela

Cape Times