Zizi Kodwa - facing corruption charges - a spit on taxpayers faces as he returns to Parliament

Former Sports and Culture minister Zizi Kodwa. Picture: Itumeleng English Independent Newspapers

Former Sports and Culture minister Zizi Kodwa. Picture: Itumeleng English Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 23, 2024


The decision to swear in disgraced former sports, arts and culture Minister Zizi Kodwa as an ANC Member of Parliament has heightened the curiosity on how he was arrested and charged for corruption.

The move has been frowned upon by political parties, civil society and some ordinary citizens.

Kodwa, together with 58 members of uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP), will be sworn-in on Tuesday as part of Parliament’s 7th Administration.

Kodwa is a close ally to President Cyril Ramaphosa. It is still unclear what he did to find himself on the chopping board while his other comrades such as Nomvula Mokonyane, Gwede Mantashe, Malusi Gigaba and others were also fingered in the State Capture corruption saga, however, they have not been arrested or formally charged.

Earlier this month, Kodwa appeared before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court, facing corruption charges involving R1.7 million where he was granted bail of R30 000. He later resigned from his ministerial position.

In his step-aside letter to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, Kodwa said he remained a committed and disciplined member of the party.

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.

Now Kodwa is making a comeback. Independent Media has in the past reported that the step-aside rule was engineered to get rid of former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

To date, other ANC members such as Gigaba, Mokonyane, Mantashe and others implicated in Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s State Capture corruption saga continue with their lives, they all survived the chop while Kodwa is facing the music alone. One can only wonder when the others will be arrested for alleged corruption involving Bosasa amongst others.

According to EWN, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) executive director Wayne Duvenage said Kodwa’s return to the National Assembly will be a hindrance in fighting corruption.

ActionSA said it condemned Kodwa’s return despite facing serious corruption charges for allegedly accepting a R1.7m bribe.

ActionSA Parliamentary Caucus Leader, Athol Trollip, said Kodwa was at Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court, facing charges stemming from evidence in the State of Capture Report, which accuses him of accepting a bribe in exchange for influencing the awarding of government contracts.

“Consequently, it is unthinkable that in any nation governed by the rule of law that an individual can simultaneously juggle courtroom appearances for breaking corruption laws while sitting in Parliament, shaping the country’s laws.

“As we await with bated breath the announcement of President Ramaphosa's cabinet, it is evident that yet another ‘new era’ promised in his inauguration speech is off to a rocky start, noting not just this matter but also the fact that the very MC of his inauguration, namely Nomvula Mokonyane, is herself implicated in the same State Capture Report for corruption,” Trollip said.

He said fundamentally, ActionSA believes that a corruption-free and prosperous South Africa is incompatible with the ANC, and any attempt to sell the half-baked renewal of the ANC by diluting their patronage through a so-called Government of National Unity (GNU) is an affront to the intelligence of South Africans.

“ActionSA calls on the ANC to, for once, act in the interest of the integrity of Parliament and remove him as a prospective MP, thereby ensuring that the former Minister has ample time for his court appearances and saving the South African taxpayer from the insult of footing the bill for such a tainted individual,” Trollip said.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Motsiri-Bhengu declined to comment.

Ordinary South Africans took to social media platform, X expressing their views on this.

“So reputation means nothing to the parliament? How is he even allowed to do that? He can’t be the only one who can do whatever his office does. Someone with a clean record can step in. This is a spit to the public,” wrote Melo Malebo.

“Some people in this country have a problem that Judge John Hlophe is going to Parliament as the presidential leader of the MKP, he’s facing no criminal charges. The very same people don’t see anything wrong that the ANC is taking this chap to Parliament, he’s facing graft charges,” wrote Ndlombango ka Tomase.