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Zondo recommends removal of Zizi Kodwa from deputy state security minister portfolio

The state capture commission has recommended that the president should consider Zizi Kodwa's position as deputy minister of state security.
The state capture commission has recommended that the president should consider Zizi Kodwa's position as deputy minister of state security.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

The commission into state capture, headed by chief justice Raymond Zondo, has recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa consider the position of Zizi Kodwa as deputy minister of state security because of his tainted relationship with controversial businessman and former EOH boss Jehan Mackay.

This is contained in part 4 of the report released on Friday.

The recommendation is in the section of the report dealing with corruption and fraud in the public sector, including the state organs, and stems from the investigation of the EOH contracts with the City of Johannesburg.

During the hearings, the commission heard how Mackay funded Kodwa’s luxury holidays and also loaned him more than R1.7m.

“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,” reads the 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.” 

The commission also recommended law enforcement agencies investigate attempts by Mackay to induce Kodwa to interfere with procurement processes in the interest of EOH.

If its recommendations are implemented, Mackay would be subject to multiple criminal investigations.

Mr Kodwa is beholden by Mr Jehan Mackay to who he owes more than R1.7m. On his own version, this is a debt which he cannot immediately repay
Zondo report

The commission said though it had not seen evidence to show impropriety on the part of Kodwa in relation to attempts by Mackay to induce him to interfere with procurement processes in the interest of EOH, due to time constraints it could not independently investigate if Kodwa may or may have not done anything to influence the awarding of tenders. 

“It would not be difficult for an influential or important figure in a political party that is the majority party in the municipality to influence either officials within the municipality or councillors of such municipality to influence relevant officials within the municipality,” the report reads. 

The commission commended EOH for being co-operative and said theirs was a unique case.

“Alone among all the companies that have been mentioned in the proceedings of the commission, EOH proactively approached the commission to be given the opportunity to disclose publicly what wrongdoing had taken place historically within its ranks. It sought also to explain what it has already done and what it proposes to do to make reparation for such wrongdoing and to prevent similar wrongdoing occurring within its ranks in the future.”

The commission said EOH’s attitude is illustrative of the attitude it has taken towards regulatory and law enforcement authorities in general.

“Since the appointment of Mr Stephen van Coller as CEO of EOH in September 2018, Mr van Coller and the board of EOH have presided over a process where ENS forensics have been appointed to conduct independent and unfettered investigations into EOH’s historical involvement in irregular and corrupt procurements practices. EOH has committed itself to making the results of these investigations public and to assisting regulatory and law enforcement authorities with their investigations into matters that have been revealed by the ENS forensics investigations.”

The report said the primary credit for the attitude taken by EOH must be accorded to Van Coller because when he was appointed in 2018 he was aware of adverse media reports relating to EOH.

“His response to these reports was not to seek to negate them, but rather to investigate to establish whether they were substantiated. When it became clear that there was substance to several of these reports he put in place a wide range of measures.”

TimesLIVE



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