Home South African Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa arrested over alleged R1.7m bribe

Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa arrested over alleged R1.7m bribe

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Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa was scheduled to make his first court appearance before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court, facing corruption charges involving R1.7 million.

THE DIRECTORATE for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, has announced that it has arrested two people, who are appearing before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Ekurhuleni.

It was reported earlier on Wednesday that Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa was scheduled to make his first court appearance before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court, 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.

In a terse media alert, the national spokesperson for the Hawks, Brigadier Thandi Mbambo, said two individuals were arrested on Wednesday morning.

“Two individuals were arrested this morning following the Zondo commission recommendations on state capture. The two are to appear at Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court on charges of corruption,” said Mbambo.

Sunday World previously reported that Kodwa was charged over allegations that he accepted bribes totalling about R1.7 million from businessman and former EOH boss Jehan Mackay. The former EOH boss is also expected to appear in the same court.

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

The managing director of ENS Forensics, Steven Powell, claimed Kodwa received the money in eight payments from Mackay. The commission heard how Mackay funded Kodwa’s luxury holidays, and also gave him a R1.7 million “loan”.

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 R1.7m. 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.

Earlier this week, it was reported that many believed that Kodwa, a close ally of Ramaphosa, was shielded from the step-aside rule that 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.

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