Gauteng Premier David Makhura File picture: Jacques Naude
Johannesburg - Only selected politicians in the Gauteng Legislature, including Premier David Makhura, appear to be showered with gifts, if the members’ sworn declarations book is anything to go by.

The register of members’ interests published by the Gauteng integrity commissioner Dr Ralph Mgijima this week for public scrutiny and viewing revealed that the MPLs received gifts ranging from books, bottles of champagne and whisky as well as soccer and music tickets.

Makhura, MEC for Finance Barbara Creecy, MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi, and MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi have publicly confirmed receiving an array of gifts from individuals and other government entities.

Some of the gifts include match tickets to watch the Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, exclusive pens and books, Creecy received a book on controversial US President Donald Trump, shirts, a golf voucher, a desk trophy and other gifts.

Even new MEC for Health Dr Gwen Ramokgopa made declarations since she took over in February following the deaths of more than 100 psychiatric patients - an incident which almost plunged health care in Gauteng into a crisis.

Ramokgopa admitted receiving two gifts of ceramic bowls, a business card holder and fitness band in March and April respectively. She also received tickets to the Cape Town Jazz Festival and My Father’s Coat show.

Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements and ANC provincial chairman Paul Mashatile declared a gift of Johnny Walker Blue Label worth R2000 from a friend in March last year while MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture Faith Mazibuko declared two bottles of champagne from the Vaal Scottish Heritage and Culture body in February.

MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane did not want to be in the same category with those who did not receive any gifts last year. She chose to declare a gift she received in May 2015 - a THS bag worth R2000 from a friend known as Nthabiseng.

ANC politician Godfrey Tsotetsi - chairperson of the oversight committee in the Premier’s Office and the legislature - made a bizarre declaration. Tsotetsi declared he received a case of rare minerals - value not known - from a governor in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013 - four years later.

Gauteng Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe and her deputy Uhuru Moiloa also made declarations.

Others who hold influential positions in Makhura’s executive as MECs appear to be shunned by giftgivers or chose not to declare any sponsorships as their register of members’ interests for the financial year 2016/17 show blanks.

These MECs include MEC for Economic Development Lebogang Maile, MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo and MEC for Social Development Nandi Mayathula-Khoza.

Opposition party leaders like John Moodey of the DA, Mandisa Mashego of the EFF and Freedom Front Plus Gauteng leader Philip van Staden also have no gifts to show in their declarations.

Various party members of the ANC, DA, EFF and FF Plus have also listed that they had received no gifts since their last declarations in March last year.

In the DA, Khume Ramulifho and Makashule Gana were some of the few who received gifts. Gana admitted to receiving sound-system speakers worth R4000 while Ramulifho was a major beneficiary of hospitality tickets since the DA took control of the City of Joburg last year.

Ramulifho is the regional chairperson of Joburg.

It appears Makhura was the only politician who added some spice to his declarations. Makhura has spread his wings and his footprints could now be found in at least three provinces, where he owns houses.

Makhura, originally from Limpopo, has increased his property holding as he has now bought another house in North West.

He owns a house in Limpopo in the Vhembe District, another in Midrand where he stays with his wife Mpho and children. The third is at Seasons Estate in Brits, North West.

There are 73 members of the legislature.

Political Bureau