ANC MP and co-chairperson for Parliament's constitutional review committee, Vincent Smith, responds to allegations that he was irregularly paid R670 000 by facilities management group Bosasa over the past three years:
In light of the allegations that were made in the media over the past weekend, I have since consulted with the leadership of the ANC in Caucus. We are all in agreement that I am obliged to respond.
I confirm having entered into an agreement for a personal loan with Mr A. Agrizzi which is repayable by me. This loan was processed to me in two separate payments; an amount of R220 000 in 2015; and R395 000 in 2016. The loan was for the university tuition fees of my daughter in year one (2015) and year 2 (2016).
I deny any further assistance, financial or otherwise, including the installation of CCTV cameras at my home from him or any other person or company. The cameras that are at my home were paid for by myself.
My sole directorship of Euro Blitz 48, a company through which the loan was processed, is fully declared in the register of members interest and this has been the case since the acquisition of the company.
I am in total support of being held accountable and I therefore welcome any investigation into my personal loan transaction. I will fully participate in the parliamentary process led by the Ethics Committee; a process which I have no doubt will absolve me completely.
I am also going to present myself to the ANC Integrity Commission at their earliest convenience in the interest of being held accountable by my own organisation.
I have also made a request to the Chief Whip and leadership of the ANC Caucus that I be allowed to step aside from chairing any parliamentary committee until the Ethics Committee process is finalised.
I therefore urge the Parliamentary Ethics Committee to speedily process this matter in order for me to clear my name as soon as possible.
On conclusion of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee process, I am more than willing to answer any further questions that South Africans or the media might have.
* This is the unedited text of the statement released by the ANC on behalf of Vincent Smith.
* A. Agrizzi in Smith's statement refers to senior Bosasa official Angelo Agrizzi.IOL