Deputy speaker’s jumbo overshadows MPs’ gift list

2013-10-17 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A sheep, a cow and, best of all, an elephant, were among the gifts received this year by MPs, according to the register of members’ interests.

The annual register was released yesterday, revealing important information about property, shares and directorships, allowing conflicts of interest to be monitored. It also lists gifts, some more impressive than others.

IFP MP Mkululeko Hlengwa is a sheep richer, thanks to Zululand voters, and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk was given a cow by a traditional leader.

But these gift animals are totally over-shadowed by deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo’s laconic entry: “One times Indian elephant, given by an Indian delegation — value unknown”.

Asked about this addition to her household, she laughed heartily.

“No, heavens above. Where would I keep such a big animal?

“Actually, we wrote it up wrong. It’s only a picture of an elephant,” she said.

The 496-page register contains several entries connected to the Gupta wedding.

Six MPs — IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the DA’s Dr Wilmot James, and ministers Rob Davies, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Trevor Manuel and Sbu Ndebele — indicated that they were invited.

Buthelezi and Davies said they accepted, James declined and Ndebele, Manuel and Nkoana-Mashabane didn’t indicate how they reacted.

It also appears that DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko’s hair and nail care is sponsored. Zebra Nail Bar looks after her nails and Wade and Co does her hair, she indicated.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane declared the most gifts (62), including scarves, tablet computers, watches, a Philippine dress, an Israeli wall hanging, tequila, Russian dolls and the Gupta invitation.

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