Friday , June 14 2024

South African Minister Arrested for Corruption Amid ANC’s Political Turmoil

South African Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa was arrested and charged with corruption on Wednesday.

This development comes as his ANC party struggles to form a new government following significant election losses.

Kodwa’s arrest was triggered by findings from the extensive Zondo Commission inquiry into corruption during former ANC president Jacob Zuma’s administration.

As a current minister in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government, his arrest underscores the ANC’s ongoing battle to restore its tarnished image.

The ANC’s corruption issues contributed to its decline in support in last week’s general election, where it lost its outright parliamentary majority for the first time in three decades.

As the public awaited the ANC’s plan for forming a minority government or coalition, they witnessed the spectacle of a minister being charged.

Kodwa, 54, appeared in court alongside his associate, Jehan Mackay, a 47-year-old tech services entrepreneur. Both face charges under the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act.

They intend to plead not guilty to accusations involving an alleged 84,000-euro ($91,000) bribe.

Despite the serious charges, prosecutors did not oppose bail. Judge Sheron Soko-Rantao released them on bonds of 30,000 rand (1,460 euros) each, pending their next pre-trial hearing on July 23.

Following the hearing, Kodwa announced his resignation from the government to contest the charges, which he strongly denies.

The Zondo Commission, led by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, investigated corruption during Zuma’s nine-year presidency and presented its findings in 2022.

The elite police unit, the Hawks, based their arrests on the inquiry’s results, revealing bribes used for luxury purchases.

Amidst the political fallout, the ANC is negotiating to form a coalition or a minority government after securing only 40 percent of the vote in the recent elections—a steep decline from the 57.5 percent won in 2019.

This loss marks the first time the ANC has fallen below 50 percent since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

Kodwa was among the ANC members expected to take a seat in the National Assembly. Meanwhile, Zuma’s new uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party garnered almost 15 percent of the vote, reflecting the ongoing influence of the former president despite his scandalous past.

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