Former minister Zizi Kodwa’s woes intensify

Sports, Arts and Culture minister Zizi Kodwa. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

Sports, Arts and Culture minister Zizi Kodwa. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 6, 2024


Former Sports, Arts and Culture minister Zizi Kodwa’s woes have worsened after he confirmed to the ANC that he would be stepping aside from all his duties in the party.

This came a day after he resigned as minister from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet.

Kodwa and businessman Jehan Mackay were released on R30 000 bail each after they appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Palm Ridge, Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

The former ANC spokesperson faces corruption charges in relation to allegations that he influenced the awarding of a total of R1.6 million’s contracts during his time as ANC spokesperson and member of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) between April 2015 and February 2016.

In his step-aside letter to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, Kodwa said he remained a committed and disciplined member of the party. However, he stepped aside from both the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee.

It read in part: “I hereby inform you of my intention to step-aside of the NWC and the NEC with immediate effect following being formally charged for allegations of corruption, which I strongly deny.”

Mbalula, during an ANC NEC meeting held in Boksburg on Thursday, confirmed he had received a letter from Kodwa.

Ramaphosa accepted Kodwa’s resignation after he penned it on Wednesday.

Political party Rise Mzantsi and civil society organisation Corruption Watch have welcomed Kodwa’s resignations.

Corruption Watch executive director Karam Singh reportedly said the judicial system should be moving faster when it came to cases of high profile accused.

He said: “This is what we need to see going forward if we’re going to make any progress in the fight against corruption. We need these processes to unfold in a much more seamless way without these kinds of delays.

“Because obviously there are implications when you have high-profile people with these kinds of allegations over their heads who remain in their positions. It’s not good governance.”

In a statement on Thursday, Rise Mzansi welcomed Kodwa’s resignations, saying Kodwa’s case was a reminder of the many failures of the ANC because he was supposed to step down years ago but Ramaphosa instead shifted shifted him to another ministry.

The party’s Gauteng convenor, Tebogo Moalusi, said: “Rise Mzansi had long called for this action when other allegations of corruption were levelled against Kodwa. In fact, we have filed a complaint with the public protector’s office, asking for the Chapter 9 body to look into claims of corruption and improper conduct at the National Arts Council against Kodwa.”

In response to Moalusi, in a letter seen by The Star, the public protector’s office promised to get back to the party within 10 days of receiving the letter.

The letter dated 15 May read: “Should the Public Protector South Africa decide to investigate your complaint, the assigned investigator will contact you within the next 10 working days after assessment and allocation of the complaint to the investigator.”

On May 10, The Star reported that Kodwa disregarded the law in protecting his alleged friends in the appointment of officials at the National Arts Council.

The accusations emanate from the president of the South African Roadies Association, Freddie Nyathela, who said Kodwa was protecting senior civil servants in his office and making illegal appointments.

The Star