Kodwa claims State case is a replica of state capture commission evidence

South Africa - Johannesburg - 05 June 2024 - Sports and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa and co-accused businessman Jehan Mackay appear before the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court for corruption charges amounting to R1.7 million.Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

South Africa - Johannesburg - 05 June 2024 - Sports and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa and co-accused businessman Jehan Mackay appear before the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court for corruption charges amounting to R1.7 million.Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 5, 2024


Former minister of sports, arts and culture Zizi Kodwa has argued through his legal representative, Zola Majavu, that the State has a weak case as it has relied on Kodwa’s testimony before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

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

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

Both Kodwa and his co-accused were granted R30 000 bail each with their matter postponed to July 23.

However, arguing for his client, Majavu accused the State of leaking the charge sheet to members of the media, while his client only received the sheet moments before the case started.

“At this stage, I gathered 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.

“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 rearing 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,” he said.

Spokesperson for the ministry, 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.

“Mr Zizi Kodwa, MP, announces his immediate resignation as Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. This comes as Mr Kodwa challenges the charges against him, which he strongly denies.

“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,” Mpondwana said.

Responding to the media, NPA spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane denied that the State has 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.

If Kodwa had not voluntarily resigned from his post, the ANC would have been forced to invoke its step-aside rule due to its policy which requires members charged with serious crimes to step aside from all ANC activities.

Kodwa’s immediate resignation 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.

Previously, ‘The Star’ reported that Sara president Freddie Nyathela was accusing Kodwa of protecting “friends” in the appointment of officials of the NAC, disregarding rule section 4 (2) of the NAC Act 56 of 1997.

Nyathela had written a letter to Kodwa demanding that he dissolve the council board, arguing that there was no public and transparent process followed as per the law when Kodwa appointed the board.

However, the NAC had denied that the board was unlawfully selected with its interim acting CEO, Julie Diphofa, reportedly telling City Life Arts that the allegations were not true.

“The allegations that the NAC Council is illegally constituted are false and defamatory to the organisation. All council members of the NAC have been legally appointed by the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture as per the NAC Act 56 of 1997.”

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said the party’s step-aside rule will certainly apply to Kodwa.

Speaking at a media briefing on the outcomes of the national working committee meeting on Wednesday, Bhengu-Motsiri said the step-aside policy of the ANC will kick in against the minister.

“All I can say is that we have noted that and the step-aside 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 and I suppose there’s really no question about that,” she said. | Additional reporting by Kamogelo Moichela

The Star

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