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From an SUV to two-minute noodles, MPs register reveals the gifts our leaders received

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota received "birthday goodies" from Mmusi Maimane.
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota received "birthday goodies" from Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Collen Mashaba

From free tickets to music shows and sports events, overseas jaunts and livestock, MPs remain some of the luckiest people around, with the 2018 edition of the annual register of members' interests making for interesting reading.

None of our MPs were as lucky as former union boss Fikile Majola, who scored a 2017 BMW X5.

Majola declared his R864,000 gift as a “donation” from the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu). He is a former general-secretary of Nehawu, a Cosatu affiliate which represents the public service and which is also the biggest Cosatu affiliate.

Majola became an MP in 2014 and chairs the National Assembly's energy portfolio committee. Nehawu had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publishing.

Parliament's joint committee on ethics and members' interests published the register on Wednesday. It revealed that MPs had prioritised property among their many acquisitions and while the state capture inquiry heard allegations about senior politicians receiving gifts and bribes from Bosasa, no such gifts from the company were declared in the register.

Science and technology minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane declared a R499,000 scholarship paid directly to the Howard Business School by Boston Holdings.

Kubayi-Ngubane previously stated that she wanted to earn a PhD before her 40th birthday. It is unclear what she is studying. Kubayi-Ngubane also received a fruit server dish, a vase and a Chinese doll, among other things declared. 

The ANC's Mcebisi Skwatsha will probably need to build a kraal, as he has been a consistent recipient of livestock. He declared a bull, estimated at about R80,000, from Herschel Independent Consultants. In 2018, AmaMpondo king Ndamase Ndamase also gave the deputy minister of rural development and land reform a bull, worth R8,000 having gifted him a similar beast in 2015.

Skwatsha's former boss in that ministry, Gugile Nkwinti, declared two-minute noodles and condensed milk among the gifts he received in 2018. The water and sanitation minister also received Cremora, hot chocolate and Quality Street sweets from Nestle South Africa when he attended the company's “zero water” launch in Mossel Bay.

Remember when President Cyril Ramaphosa awarded DA chief whip John Steenhuisen a cigar for good behaviour in the house? Steenhuisen declared a cigar, value unknown,from a “Mr C M Ramaphosa”.

Steenhuisen was not the only chief whip who received a cigar. The EFF's Floyd Shivambu also did. Shivambu revealed that he received “cigars” from the Cuban ministry of trade.

Shivambu was part of a multi-party delegation of eight MPs which visited Cuba in September 2018. He also declared free tickets to the FC Barcelona vs Mamelodi Sundowns friendly match at FNB Stadium in May 2018. Shivambu was seen, alongside his boss, Julius Malema, greeting famous Barca players at the stadium following the clash.

But it would seem Mamelodi Sundowns was not as generous towards Malema, a known Orlando Pirates supporter. He made no declaration to that effect. His declarations included an S8 Samsung smart phone from Telkom, costing R11,000.He also received books and tickets to attend the Soweto derby.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane sent a bouquet of flowers to ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu.

Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota revealed that he received “birthday goodies” from Maimane, while DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis declared a R2,000 Fitbit watch from his boss.

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