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2 minute read
21 Feb 2017
7:02 pm

MPs declare ‘lavish’ gifts, financial interests in 2016 register


President Jacob Zuma’s name, however, did not appear in the Members’ Interests register.

FILE PICTURE: Parliament, in Cape Town. (Photo: DoC)

From genuine ostrich leather notepad holders, free tickets to jazz concerts and soccer matches, bottles of whiskey and wine, sets of exclusive ties and pairs of socks, to mobile phones, apartments and houses, land, shares and company directorships — these are just some of the gifts and items that Members of Parliament (MPs) declared in the Register of Members’ Interest for 2016 on Tuesday.

The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests unanimously adopted the register last week in accordance with the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests for Assembly and Permanent Council Members.

Deadline for submission of annual disclosure was extended from the end of August to 21 September 2016 after 55 MPs could not submit their information on time.

After 14 MPs made late submissions, the committee resolved that an investigation of non-compliance be instituted on why they failed to submit on deadline.

But the register could not be released immediately after adoption as it had some sections that were confidential.

President Jacob Zuma’s name, however, did not appear in the register.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba, were among the MPs who received the most gifts during the period.

According to the register, Ramaphosa owns shares and other financial interests worth more than R130 million in different investments, sits as director in various companies, owns multiple properties in Johannesburg and in Cape Town, and is a trustee in at least four Trusts.

Nkoana-Mashabane owns just two properties but received a catalogue of small gifts, including a fur coat worth at least R3,000 from the Kazakh Ambassador during a courtesy call.

Gigaba also declared a variety of gifts including wines, pairs of socks, scarfs and ties, books, and a 12-year Johnnie Walker Black Label worth R4,050 from an Embassy in Pretoria.

Gigaba, who owns a property at Blue Valley Golf Estate, is also in the process of buying another house in Centurion.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi appeared to be a big fan of the Orlando Pirates football club, with no less than three match tickets to the team’s matches each valued at R1,500.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, owns two houses in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, and declared a few gifts and hospitality items, including paintings each worth R10,000 and R6,000, and a R6,000 Fabiani suit, shirt and tie from the designer.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema had “nothing to disclose” except his interests in family and investment trusts that had no benefit.

– African News Agency

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