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South Africa’s Outgoing Minister Faces Bribery Charges Amid ANC Coalition Talks

Fraud, Bribery & CorruptionSouth Africa's Outgoing Minister Faces Bribery Charges Amid ANC Coalition Talks

South Africa’s outgoing Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture has appeared in court after being arrested on bribery charges, as his African National Congress (ANC) party engages in coalition government discussions following an election stalemate.

Zizi Kodwa, formally accused of accepting bribes, appeared in a courtroom south of Johannesburg on Wednesday, alongside co-defendant Jehan Mackay.

During the hearing, Kodwa was granted bail, according to a statement from the country’s elite police unit, Hawks. His lawyer stated that Kodwa would not evade trial and would present his defense at a later date, as shown in footage by the public broadcaster SABC.

News website News24 reported that Kodwa is accused of accepting 1.6 million rand ($85,000) in bribes related to contracts for upgrading and maintaining Johannesburg’s metro software systems. News24 also reported that Kodwa intends to plead not guilty to the charges.

Kodwa was implicated in receiving bribes from a businessman during a 2021 judicial inquiry into widespread government corruption involving ANC officials and others.

The allegations pertain to the period when Kodwa served as the ANC’s national spokesperson and later as the deputy minister of state security.

Police claim that Kodwa used some of the bribe money to purchase a “luxury” SUV.

Coalition Talks
The 54-year-old is a member of the ANC’s National Working Committee, which convened on Tuesday as the party discusses potential coalition options after losing its 30-year majority in last week’s election.

The ANC has not indicated which other party or parties it might partner with to co-govern, and discussions are ongoing.

Government corruption is believed to be one of the issues that led many South Africans to turn away from the ANC in the election. The party received 40 percent of the vote, losing its parliamentary majority for the first time, and now needs to form a coalition or agreement with others.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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