Minister charged with corruption, quits Zizi Kodwa

JOHANNESBURG. – South Africa’s Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa was arrested on corruption charges yesterday and later appeared in court before issuing a statement to announce his resignation.

Kodwa, who was formally charged with taking bribes, appeared in a courtroom south of Johannesburg yesterday alongside co-accused Jehan Mackay.

Kodwa was granted bail during the hearing, the country’s elite police unit Hawks said in a statement. His lawyer said Kodwa would not evade trial and would disclose his defence at a later stage, footage by public broadcaster SABC showed.

News website News24 reported that Kodwa was held on accusations of taking R1.6 million in bribes in connection with contracts handed by the city of Johannesburg to upgrade and maintain the metro’s software systems. News24 reported that Kodwa intended to plead not guilty to the charges.

He was implicated in taking bribes from a businessman at a judicial inquiry in 2021 that looked into allegations of widespread government corruption involving ANC officials and others.

The allegations relate to the time when Kodwa was the national spokesperson for the ANC, and later the deputy minister of state security.

Police allege that Kodwa used some of the bribe money to buy a “luxury” SUV vehicle.

The 54-year-old is a member of the ANC’s internal National Working Committee, which met on Tuesday as the party discusses how it might form a government after losing its 30-year majority in an election last week. – Al Jazeera

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