MPLs declare interests

2012-11-07 00:00

LIVESTOCK seem to be the gift of choice for politicians in KZN to judge from the declaration of interests of members of the legislature.

Several lawmakers were showered with gifts of sheep and cows, according to the members’ register in the provincial legislature.

The Witness was yesterday allowed to view a file containing declaration forms of MPLs listing their private interests, gifts, properties, shareholding and directorships.

The lawmakers are obliged to declare gifts that cost more than R500 or several that come from a single source which individually cost less but together exceed the same amount.

On his declaration form, Premier Zweli Mkhize said he received a sheep worth R600 from Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube said she had been given a cow worth R10 000 by Inkosi Zondo and three sheep, including one from Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, who also gave Education MEC Senzo Mchunu a sheep.

IFP’s Blessed Gwala received four sheep — one of them from party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Mkhize also received a framed picture of Queen Thomozile from the Zulu king, a two-ply blanket and four books, including The Trial of Andrew Zondo by author Fatima Meer, among other gifts.

Finance MEC Ina Cronjé listed a wall clock from the Ford Foundation Programme, products from Nestle and the skin of an Nguni cow from Umzin­yathi District Municipality.

Cronjé also listed a leather handbag from the Ithala Finance Development Corporation and a silver tray and silk scarf from the Belgian consulate and the consul-general of China respectively.

Agriculture MEC Meshack Radebe was given a travel bag worth R1 200 by his “ministry staff on my birthday”.

Arts and Culture MEC Ntombikayise Sibhidla listed takkies and isidwaba (traditional garment) from the Emachwinini community as well as R20 000 from KwaMashu Investment as sponsorship for “PLO work”.

As for financial interests, the ANC’s S.I. Gcabashe listed 15 companies, while Mkhize listed shares in about 20 companies.

The DA’s L.J. de Klerk and Johann Krog listed moonlighting as an attorney in law firms as part of work outside formal employment, while other MPLs listed their consulting work and directorships of companies.

On the property front, the DAs Mark Steele said one of his houses was owned by “inheritance” and he was selling another in Scottsville.

Apart from owning a private residence in Westville, the DA’s Tom Stokes owns five “apartments for rentals” on the Esplanade in Durban.

The legislature’s assistant registrar, Nishan Sukraj, said MPLs were required to disclose their financial interest every April to avoid conflicts of interest. “The aim is to get it out of them, not to punish them. If they comply there is no problem, but if they do not we raise it with the disciplinary committee.”

However, a closer look at the declaration forms showed nine of the 80 members did not make declarations. The legislature’s chief operating officer, Bongani Sibiya, said the legislature’s standing rules would be followed against those who did not declare their financial interests.

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