International travel, alcohol, expensive tea bags and mugs — some of the gifts declared by politicians

19 April 2023 - 12:46 By SINESIPHO SCHRIEBER
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Parliament released MPs' declarations reports for 2022. File photo.
Parliament released MPs' declarations reports for 2022. File photo.
Image: Anton Scholtz

International embassies and foundations were among those who gave gifts to South African politicians.

This was revealed when parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ interests published the register of members’ interests for 2022.

Among the luxury gifts declared were expensive wines, gin, whisky and Chinese tea.

An inmate gifted justice minister Ronald Lamola with a handmade wall clock. He also received two bottles of Glenfiddich and a bottle of wine from Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. 

Minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, as minister of communications, received a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra phone and watch costing R35,000. She was gifted by the Telkom board chairperson and Telkom Group CEO.  

Former deputy president David Mabuza listed having received a black wooden sculpture of a woman from the Angolan vice-president. He received several gifts from now ousted Free State premier Sisi Ntombela, including a cow, hat, blanket and short stick.  

Mabuza was not the only one to receive livestock, as minister of higher education Blade Nzimande received a sheep costing R5,000 from a Pietermaritzburg traditional leader. 

DA leader John Steenhuisen received gifts from expensive brands, including running shoes from Under Armour, shoes and shirts from Veldskoen and Le Creuset mugs and saucers from S Ikin.

His fact-finding trip to Ukraine after the outbreak of the war with Russia was paid for by the Brenthurst Foundation along with his trip to Somalia and Kenya.  

The Brenthurst Foundation also sponsored DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube’s work trip to Italy.

EFF leader Julius Malema was on the list of politicians who received expensive tea mugs gifted by the Chinese embassy.

He received several books from authors, and a flag and scarf from Southern Cameroon. He declared to have received a bottle of gin from podcaster MacG. 

While police minister Bheki Cele had nothing to declare, his deputy Cassel Mathale received Chinese black tea bags and a police cap from Interpol. 

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan declared having shares in more than 20 companies, including Woolworths, Aspen, Naspers, Sasol, Growthpoint Properties and Sanlam.

He received a R1,161 bottle of wine and wine bag from Nelson Mandela Business Chamber CEO Denise van Huyssteen and a bottle of wine and chocolates from a Chinese ambassador for season's greetings.

Gordhan received flowers for his birthday from Transnet CEO Portia Derby.

Parliament speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula declared owning five residential homes situated in Eastern Cape and Johannesburg. She declared receiving a R2,000 rug from the Azerbaijani embassy.

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