Smith steps aside as chairperson of parliamentary committees pending bribe probe

Vincent Smith
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo

Constitutional review committee co-chairperson Vincent Smith has been granted permission to step aside pending investigations into payments he allegedly received of over R600 000 from a facilities management company.

Smith, who chairs at least three committees in parliament, is accused of receiving payments from Bosasa over the past three years.

"Last week, comrade Smith requested the leadership of the ANC caucus to allow him to step aside from chairing any parliamentary committee until the investigation into allegations against him which have surfaced in the public domain have been concluded by the ethics committee," said ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu.

This follows reports last week that said Smith allegedly accepted the installation of electric fences and a high-end CCTV system at his home, worth about R200 000, as well as receiving two payments of more than R600 000 from Bosasa.

The ANC initially said the media reports would not affect his role as chairperson of portfolio committees, including the one for justice and correctional services which he was elected to last month.

After the political committee met on Wednesday to deliberate on Smith's request to step aside to allow investigations to continue, they took a resolution to recuse him until the matter has been finalised by the ethics committee. Smith will however, remain an ordinary member of all committees he is a member of.

"The political committee welcomed and agreed to grant comrade Smith permission to step aside from chairing any portfolio committee until the finalisation of this case. Having allowed him to step aside as chairperson, he will remain an ordinary member of all committees he is a member of," Mthembu added in a statement.

He currently chairs the joint committee on constitutional review, portfolio committee on justice and correctional services as well as the standing committee on the auditor-general.

Smith has not denied that he received payments from Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi which he said was for a personal loan to cover his daughter's university fees, but denies receiving CCTV cameras at his home.

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