It may have taken more than two years since the creation of the State Capture Inquiry, but finally, it looks as if the chickens are coming home to roost. Hawks have, according to Daily Maverick, swooped on three key members involved in Free State’s unlawful asbestos audit project – including businessman Edwin Sodi.

Who is Edwin Sodi? Businessman forms ‘first arrests’ from State Capture Inquiry

The Zondo Commission was rocked by his nonchalant recollection of the multi-million rand ‘donations’ he had given to the party over the years. The businessman, cheekily referred to as the ANC’s ‘blesser’, gave money out to senior ANC staff on a whim. He did maintain, however, that these payments were all made to support his favourite political party.

Bad blesser: Which senior ANC members could be in trouble?

Former Free State Human Settlements Department (FSHS) boss Nthimotse ‘Tim’ Mokhesi and former national human settlements director-general Thabane Zulu have been arrested alongside Edwin Sodi. 

On Tuesday, Sodi testified that the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, the Deputy Minister of State Security, Zizi Kodwa, and the Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Pinky Kekana, received payments from him in the period between 2013 and 2019.

It’s worth noting that Mkhize, apparently, received a total of R6.5 million from Edwin Sodi while serving as party Treasurer.

Bongani More could also come under investigation. He’s the former DG for the Gauteng department of human settlements, and Sodi told the State Capture Inquiry that the R7.5 million he paid to him was ‘purely down to their friendship as business partners’. Paul Mashatile also received R371 000 from Sodi during his time as ANC Treasurer.

Also firmly on the radar is Ace Magashule. His fingerprints are all over the asbestos contract, with certain suspicious payments going through his office while he served as Free State Premier.

DA calls for tough action against those who benefited from Edwin Sodi’s cash

Natasha Mazzone, the chief whip for the DA, has reacted in anger to these developments. She says that Edwin Sodi and his ‘generous gifts’ violate the laws of Parliament, and senior ANC members must explain why they’ve not declared such payments. Mazzone says that ‘no excuse’ could justify these alleged acts of corruption.

“The DA ran an extensive check of Parliament’s register of members’ interests for the period these payments were made. None of the individuals mentioned during Sodi’s session with the Commission declared such payments. This is a direct contravention of Parliament’s Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests.”

“While there is little doubt that these Members of Parliament will offer all manner of excuses to explain away their dirty hands, the fact is that if their dealings with Sodi were irreproachable, they would have had no qualms declaring these payments. None of the excuses they can come up with will suffice.”

Natasha Mazzone

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Presh JM Reporter

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