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Court grants R30 000 bail to Zizi Kodwa and ex-EOH boss 

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Johnathan Paoli

Sports, Arts and Culture minister Zizi Kodwa and former EOH director Jehan Mackay were granted bail in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Psalm Ridge, Ekurhuleni on Wednesday where they appeared on charges of corruption allegedly, for bribes worth R1.6 million.

Reports indicated that Kodwa was arrested on Tuesday morning, as part of a probe into contracts worth more than R460 million the City of Johannesburg awarded to technology group EOH Holdings in 2016, for the upgrade and maintenance of the city’s software systems.

Kodwa and Mackay are facing charges of contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA) and corruption.

Presiding Judge Sheron Soko-Rantao delivered her first remarks to the accused and highlighted their duty to provide the court with all the details of their relationship, that they had the right to remain silent during the proceedings, but should they choose to speak, any evidence in this bail application could be used in the trial as prima facie evidence.

The court granted the pair R30 000 bail, despite Kodwa’s plea with the court to grant him R25 000 bail and that he will return to court on 23 July as the case was postponed for disclosure of the contents of the docket to the accused, by the state.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson said the case forms part of its response to the findings and recommendations of the State Capture Inquiry.

In trying to meet the demands emanating from the commission’s reports, the NPA established a joint task force in November 2022, comprising various law enforcement agencies like the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to ensure collaboration and a coordinated structure that is case driven.

This follows the Zondo Commission finding that Kodwa was the subject of questionable transactions between himself and Mackay.

It was found over a little more than a year between 2014 and 2015, entities linked to EOH and Mackay allegedly made cash payments of around R1.6 million to the minister, who benefited from luxury accommodation, loans and other gratuities.

ENS Forensics managing director Steven Powell claimed Kodwa received the money in eight payments from Mackay.

The Zondo commission strongly recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa should reconsider Kodwa’s then position as deputy minister in the Presidency responsible for State Security due to his “beholdenness” to Mackay.

Kodwa previously testified to the commission that the R1 million he received from EOH was not a bribe but a loan from a friend, namely Mackay, due to financial difficulties.

In addition, many have commended the trial following suggestions that Kodwa, a close ally of Ramaphosa, has been protected from the step aside rule the ruling party has implemented in efforts to deal with corruption.

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