DA to report justice committee boss over alleged Bosasa payments

Vincent Smith, an ANC MP, allegedly received R670k in payments along with numerous other benefits in return for Bosasa getting lucrative state contracts.

The Democratic Alliance has said it will report the newly selected chairperson of parliament’s justice and correctional services portfolio committee, Vincent Smith, an ANC MP, to parliament’s ethics committee following a report that he allegedly received at least R670,000 from the controversial facilities management company Bosasa over the past three years.

MP John Steenhuisen added: “In addition to this, Smith reportedly received a security upgrade of electric fences and a high-end CCTV system worth R200,000 at his home and R100,000 in cash from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson every month.”

Bosasa had secured contracts with several government departments worth over R10 billion, including with the department of correctional services.

“Smith had oversight of this department when he chaired the correctional services portfolio committee in 2014, as well as through his membership of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and as an alternate member on justice and correctional services from 2014 to August 2018; if he did indeed receive money from Bosasa, this would represent a serious conflict of interest and be highly inappropriate.”

He alleged: “This amounts to unethical conduct, especially since he had not declared any such benefit in the Register of Members’ Interests. The DA has perused the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Declaration of Members Interests and the payments, nor the alleged installation of CCTV equipment, appear on the declarations as would be required in terms of the Code.

“If these allegations are true, they have the potential to further undermine the institution of parliament and the public’s already dwindling trust in its ability to perform as set out in recent survey results presented to the chief whips’ forum.”

Steenhuisen said that if found guilty of unethical conduct, Smith would be unfit to chair any portfolio committee.

“The DA condemns corrupt practices by public representatives. We therefore urge Parliament to investigate the allegations against Mr Smith without delay.”

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