DA to lay charges against em­bat­tled Vin­cent Smith

Cape Argus - - NATION - MARY-JANE MPHAHLELE mary-jane.mphahlele@inl.co.za

THE WOES of em­bat­tled se­nior ANC MP Vin­cent Smith, pic­tured, deep­ened yes­ter­day af­ter his party ac­ceded to his re­quest not to chair par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees and the DA an­nounced it will lay crim­i­nal charges against him.

Smith vol­un­tar­ily ex­cused him­self from chair­ing Par­lia­ment com­mit­tees af­ter al­le­ga­tions emerged that he was paid at least R670 000 by con­tro­ver­sial fa­cil­ity man­age­ment com­pany Bosasa over the past three years and had ac­cepted se­cu­rity in­stal­la­tions at his home val­ued at R200 000.

Smith chairs the par­lia­men­tary port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on jus­tice and the com­mit­tee on the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral.

He also co-chairs the con­sti­tu­tional re­view com­mit­tee, look­ing into the pos­si­ble amend­ment of sec­tion 25 of the con­sti­tu­tion to al­low for the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

DA MP John Steen­huisen, who re­ported Smith to Par­lia­ment’s ethics com­mit­tee, said the DA would to­day lay crim­i­nal charges against Smith, ANC na­tional chair­per­son Gwede Man­tashe, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Nomvula Mokonyane, for­mer SA Air­ways chair­per­son Dudu Myeni and Jus­tice and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Deputy Min­is­ter Tha­bang Mak­wetla.

“Crim­i­nal charges, in terms of the Preven­tion and Com­bat­ing of Cor­rupt Ac­tiv­i­ties Act (Act 12 of 2004), re­late to re­ports that they un­duly ac­cepted se­cu­rity up­grades to their homes from con­tro­ver­sial fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment com­pany Bosasa,” Steen­huisen said.

In a state­ment shortly af­ter re­ports of the do­na­tions, Smith ad­mit­ted that he re­ceived pay­ments from Bosasa boss An­gelo Agrizzi which he said were for a per­sonal loan to cover his daugh­ter’s univer­sity fees, but de­nied re­ceiv­ing CCTV cam­eras at his home.

He said he had re­ceived R220 000 in 2015 and R395 000 in 2016 from Agrizzi as per­sonal loans.

The ANC’s par­lia­men­tary cau­cus po­lit­i­cal com­mit­tee said it had ac­cepted a re­quest by Smith to be placed on tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into claims of cor­rup­tion.

ANC chief whip Jack­son Mthembu said Smith would re­main an or­di­nary mem­ber of Par­lia­ment but would not chair any com­mit­tees.

“Last week, com­rade Smith re­quested the lead­er­ship of the ANC cau­cus to al­low him to step aside from chair­ing any par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions against him which have sur­faced in the pub­lic do­main have been con­cluded by the ethics com­mit­tee.

“The po­lit­i­cal com­mit­tees agreed to grant Vin­cent Smith per­mis­sion to step aside from chair­ing any port­fo­lio com­mit­tee in Par­lia­ment un­til the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of this case.

“Hav­ing al­lowed him to step aside as chair­per­son, he will re­main an or­di­nary mem­ber of all com­mit­tees he is a mem­ber of,” Mthembu said.

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