Johannesburg – The DA has called on Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members Interests to investigate ANC MPs that received payments from controversial businessman Edwin Sodi.
The DA says the members failed to declare the payments to Parliament, which was a breach of Parliament’s Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests regarding Conflict of Financial or Business Interests.
DA MP Natasha Mazzone said the party would submit a request to the committee as it believes ANC MPs may have violated Parliament’s code of ethics by not disclosing payments from Sodi.
Sodi, who owns Blackhead Consulting, appeared at the Zondo commission into state capture on Tuesday and revealed that his company had made several payments to ANC officials and government officials between 2013 and 2019.
ANC officials who received payments from Sodi included Zizi Kodwa, Thulas Nxesi, Pinky Kekana, Paul Mashatile and Zweli Mkhize.
The payments were made while Sodi’s company had been awarded government contracts worth millions of rands.
The businessman admitted that between 2014 and 2015 his company had made a turnover of over R1 billion mostly from contracts awarded by the Department of Human Settlements.
Sodi defended the donations and told the commission that Kodwa was his friend, while he said Kekana was like a sister to him.
He also said he had made the payment to Kodwa as he often helped him out when he worked for the ANC and the governing party had been struggling with payments.
“Zizi is a friend I have made payments to him while he still worked at the ANC. It was payments I made as a friend where he requested assistance. He would say there are delays in payments and he would ask for assistance,” Sodi explained.
Sodi also made payments to Pinky Kekana, the deputy minister of communications, who he described as a friend.
Other payments include R3.6m for ANC T-shirts and R6.5m paid to the ANC with reference to Zweli Mkhize who served as its treasurer general and another payment was made to the ANC, with reference to Paul Mashatile – the current ANC treasurer-general.
Mashatile is not a member of Parliament, but Kodwa, Kekana, Mkhize and Thulas Nxesi do serve as MPs.
The DA said it had done a search on Parliament’s registry of members interests and it could not find evidence that the members had declared payments from Sodi.
“This is a direct contravention of Section 5 of Parliament’s Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests regarding Conflict of Financial or Business Interests. Section 5.1.1 clearly states that a member must “resolve any financial or business conflict of interest in which he or she is involved in his or her capacity as a public representative, in favour of the public interest; and 5.1.2 always declare such interest, and where appropriate, the Member should recuse himself or herself from any forum considering or deciding on the matter.”
“While there is little doubt that these Members of Parliament will offer all manner of excuses to explain away their dirty hands, the fact is that if their dealings with Sodi were irreproachable, they would have had no qualms declaring these payments,” Mazzone said.
She said the committee was duty-bound to investigate the allegations.