Zizi Kodwa resigns from Cabinet following arrest and bail in R1.7 million corruption case



Published Jun 5, 2024


Embattled Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, and African National Congress Member of Parliament Zizi Kodwa has announced his resignation.

This happened just moments after the Cabinet minister was released on R30,000 bail on Wednesday. He had appeared before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Ekurhuleni, facing corruption charges involving R1.7 million.

Kodwa, former deputy minister in the Presidency responsible for State Security, was implicated in the State Capture Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

He appeared in the Ekurhuleni court with his “friend” and co-accused businessman and former EOH boss Jehan Mackay. The businessman was also granted R30,000.

Former EOH boss Jehan Mackay with his friend and co-accused Zizi Kodwa appearing before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court. Picture: Screengrab

In the statement announcing his resignation, Kodwa maintains that he is not guilty.

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

Mr Kodwa expresses his sincere appreciation to the President and the governing party for the opportunity to serve the nation,” said Kodwa’s spokesperson, Litha Mpondwana.

“He also takes the opportunity to express thanks to all the staff at the Ministry and Department of Sport, Arts and Culture for the opportunity to serve with them, and to all stakeholders in sport, arts and culture, with whom he has worked so well with as minister.”

In seeking bail, Kodwa, through his counsel, legal eagle Zola Majavu SC, told the court that he is innocent until proven guilty, and has been complying with investigations.

“I was made aware that my imminent arrest was publicized in various forms of media by those who seem to know more about me than me. For the record, I can confirm that the investigating officer and other law enforcement officers treated me fairly but not differently. My prepearedness to cooperate was made at the first available opportunity.

“In fact, the investigating officer, Colonel Bojosi even commended me for the promptness with which I returned his one and only call. However, my constitutional rights cannot be sacrificed at the alter of publications and other statements by my political detractors over which I have no control.

“I am a law-abiding citizen and an accountable leader in my own right. I have full confidence in the judicial system of the Republic of South Africa and will, like any other constitutional subject, respect the rule of law,” said Kodwa in his affidavit.

In 2020, the Zondo-led commission of inquiry into allegations State capture heard that Kodwa allegedly received money paid by Mackay, who was then an executive of South Africa’s largest technology group, EOH Holdings.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. File Picture: Timothy Bernard/Independent Media

ENS Forensics managing director Steven Powell claimed Kodwa received the money in eight payments from Mackay.

When the Zondo report came out in April 2022, it strongly recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa should consider Kodwa’s then position as deputy minister in the Presidency responsible for State Security.

“The commission accordingly recommends that the president considers the position of Mr Kodwa as deputy minister of state security. Having regard to the fact that Mr Kodwa appears to find himself in a position where he is beholden by Mr Jehan Mackay,” Zondo stated in his report.

“Mr Kodwa is beholden by Mr Jehan Mackay, to whom he owes more than R1.7 million. On his own version. This is a debt which he cannot immediately repay.”

In March last year, Ramaphosa announced that he was appointing Kodwa as South Africa’s minister of sports, arts and culture.

On Wednesday, the prosecution led by Neville Mogagabe said the investigations have been completed, and both the accused men are not deemed to be flight risk.

The charge sheet in the case outlines that the crime of corruption was committed when Kodwa was spokesperson for the ANC.