Russian vodka, R44 000 Samsung phones, crocodile-skin handbags, Drip sneakers and rugby match tickets in Scotland to pure Canadian maple syrup are among the items listed by MPs of gifts they had received in the past year.
The MPs had until 30 November 2021 to submit their disclosure forms to parliament’s joint committee on ethic and members’ interests. The committee released the register this week.
The declaration of interests includes shares and other financial interests in companies and corporate entities; remunerated employment outside of parliament, directorships and partnerships, gifts and hospitality in excess of R1 500, foreign travel and ownership of land and property.
Aside from listing prime properties in Houghton and Riviera in Johannesburg, and in Somerset West in the Western Cape, the MPs have also declared receiving handbags, staying in bed and breakfast accommodation in the United Kingdom, wine, books and Smeg home appliances.
One of the biggest gifts was to Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the minister of communications and digital technologies. She received from Telkom a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra worth R29 000 and a Galaxy Watch Active worth R6 000, as well as a Montblanc pen worth R7 000.
Another big gift was to ANC MP Thlologelo Malatji, who received 10 cows and 20 sheep valued at more than R100 000 from Malatji Kraal. Another lovely gift he received was a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky worth R2 400.
The Democratic Alliance’s Glynnis Breytenbach got a bottle of sparkling wine from former rugby player Schalk Burger. The value is unknown.
Economic Freedom Fighters MP Thembinkosi Apleni received a gift worth R15 000 from the Church Of Christ and EFF leader Julius Malema was given a number of books, including No White Lies: Black Politics and White Power in South Africa by author Kim Heller. Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, were given Xhosa traditional attire and beads by abaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
The ethics committee said it believes the release of the register will promote people’s trust in public representatives and parliament.