Kodwa to face the music in court

South Africa Cape Town 07- March- 2023 - Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Zizi Kodwa. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

South Africa Cape Town 07- March- 2023 - Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Zizi Kodwa. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 1, 2024


Sports, arts and culture Minister Zizi Kodwa is to appear in court facing corruption charges valued at R1.7 million just a few days after the 2024 general elections.

According to reports from Sunday World, Kodwa, a close ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to appear at the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on charges of corruption related to a technology company.

In 2020 the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture heard that Kodwa allegedly received R375 000 paid by a former executive of South Africa’s largest technology group EOH Holdings.

ENS Forensics managing director Steven Powell claimed Kodwa received the money in eight payments from former EOH public services executive Jehan Mackay.

Mackay is also expected to appear in court.

Many believed that Kodwa’s close proximity has shielded him from the step aside rule which the ANC uses when a member is criminally charged, hence he was appointed to his current position.

The step-aside rule is an internal policy of the ANC, which requires members charged with corruption or other serious crimes to voluntarily “step aside” from participation in party and government activities, or face suspension.

The policy was adopted in 2017 at the party’s 54th national conference.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said if Kodwa is charged, it will be an interesting coincidence coming as it does at the end of the term of this administration.

“Ramaphosa will find an excuse not to fire one of his dependable allies,” said Seepe.

Kodwa is not the only one in the ANC fingered in the state capture commission, party chairperson Gwede Mantashe and first deputy secretary general Nomvula Mokonyane were also implicated but they are yet to be charged.

Kodwa was contacted for a comment, by the time of print he had not responded.

“Mantashe and Mokonyane are untouchable at the moment. However, this does not prevent anyone from coming forward to challenge this apparent inconsistency,” Seepe said.

Ramaphosa himself has a case to answer in the Phala Phala scandal, however he continues with his life while state institutions such as the Reserve Bank have cleared him.

“The Phala Phala scandal will not go away. Advocate Ngulwana SC has already approached the court to force the NPA to explain itself why Ramaphosa has not been charged in the face of the damning findings of the independent parliamentary panel that was chaired by a former Chief Justice,” said Seepe.

Another political analyst Dirk Kotze said the charging of Kodwa, if it came at the time of the elections, would have complicated things for the ANC. He said these are all individual cases that have been investigated.

“Once an investigation is completed and they believe that they have a case against the person then they can take it to court. All these cases will happen one by one.

When it comes to Phala Phala, Kotze said he was cleared by institutions, he said in order to take the matter to the next step, one must bring concrete evidence.

Recommendations in the report stated that those implicated must be criminally charged.

Only a few have appeared in court, one of them is former MP Vincent Smith.

The Johannesburg High Court postponed the corruption case against the former Smith to July 30 2024, for him to finalise his funding issues to pay for his legal fees. Judge Mahomed Ismail ordered this postponement to be final, as the matter had been postponed on numerous occasions. He further ordered for a trial date to be decided on when the matter sits in July.

Smith is facing charges of Contravening Section 7 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 (PRECCA) and fraud. In these two charges, he was charged together with the former BOSASA Chief Operations Officer (COO), Angelo Agrizzi, and their matter had to be separated, owing to Agrizzi’s ill health.

According to NPA’s Investigating Directorate, Smith is facing corruption charges in his personal capacity, as well as in his capacity as a sole director and shareholder of Euroblitz 48. His fraud charges emanate from his failure to disclose to the Registrar of parliamentary members' interest, the gratification that he received from BOSASA, pursuant to the alleged corrupt activities with which he, Euroblitz 48 and Agrizzi are charged for. He further failed to disclose the taxable income of Euroblitz between March 2009 and July 2018, allegedly totalling R28 million.

“Smith’s bail was extended and the court warned him to avail himself at the next court sitting on July 30, 2024,” said Investigating Directorate spokesperson Henry Mamothame.

The Star

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