Ramaphosa appoints Maropene Ramokgopa acting sports minister

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Maropene Ramokgopa as the acting minister of Sport, Arts and Culture following Zizi Kodwa’s resignation this week due to corruption charges he is facing.

Ramokgopa is the current minister in the presidency, responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation under the sixth administration.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday, 5 June 2024, received a letter of resignation from Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya.

“President Ramaphosa accepted Minister Kodwa’s resignation. And he thanked Mr Kodwa for his service to the nation. This in his capacity as Deputy Minister of State Security from 2019 to 2023. And as Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture from March 2023.

“President Ramaphosa has appointed Minister Maropene Ramokgopa to act as Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. This will be until a permanent appointment is made under the new 7th administration,” said Magwenya.

Kodwa resigned in order to defend himself in court

Kodwa resigned as Sport, Arts and Culture Minister on Wednesday. This was after he appeared at the specialised commercial crimes court sitting at the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court on Wednesday, for charges of corruption.

He stated that his immediate resignation is to allow him to challenge the charges against him, which he strongly denies.

Kodwa appeared in court alongside accused number one in the matter, Jehan Mackay. The latter is the director of Tactical Software Systems (TSS). He is also a former senior executive of Enterprise Outsourcing Holdings (EOH). 

The pair were granted bail each of R30,000 after facing charges of contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act (Precca) and corruption.

Their matter was postponed by magistrate Sheron Soko-Rantao to July 23 2024. This for the purpose of disclosure of the contents of the docket to the accused’s lawyers by the state.

Hawks spokesperson Brig Thandi Mbambo confirmed the matter. She said between April 2015 and February 2018, Mackay enticed Kodwa to gratification amounting to R1,710 000. This was for his personal benefit. Mackay was then an executive on behalf of EOH.

R1,7m bribery at heart of the case

The monies are reported to have been utilised for the purchasing of a luxury SUV  and  accommodation for Kodwa.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane elaborated on the matter. She said the state alleges that from April 2015 to February 2016, Kodwa received direct payments and luxury accommodation worth over R1,6-million.   They were paid by and/or facilitated by Mackay. The payments were gratifications for Kodwa’s  interventions in government procurement processes. And they were aimed to advance the interests of Mackay, TSS and EOH.

“In February 2015, the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), advertised a tender worth R360-million. It was for the appointment of two separate service providers. These were for the provision of platinum access service solution for the government. It was for a period of five years as SITA could not render the said service. SITA is a state-owned company charged with the responsibility of IT services to the government.

Recommendations by chief Justice in his report on state capture

“Nine companies, including EOH, were shortlisted for the tender. And communication between the two accused suggests that EOH was disqualified. Mackay then approached Kodwa for his intervention. This allegedly resulted in the tender being cancelled,” said Mjonondwane.

She said the case stems from the recommendations penned by then Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. This was in Part 4 of his reports into allegations of state capture.

Mjonondwane said part 4 of the report specifically dealt with corruption and fraud in the public sector, including state organs.

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