Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Fourteen members of parliament face sanctions for failing to disclose their financial interests, gifts or travel benefits in accordance with parliamentary rules.

The committee on ethics and members' interests released its register of MPs' declarations yesterday.

Committee co-chairmen Amos Masondo and Aumsen Singh said an investigation into the 14 who had not disclosed their interests would be made "before any consideration of sanctions".

Masondo said the 14, who have not been named, would be given seven days in which to "explain their noncompliance".

Acting registrar Nthuthuzelo Vanara said the seven days would be counted from when the MPs received letters asking them for an explanation.

The letters would be sent "in due course".

The MPs with the most considerable financial interests include Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Gordhan holds shares in blue-chip enterprises Naspers, Growthpoint, Spar, MTN, Bidvest, Sasol, BHP Billiton and all of South Africa's major banks.

Ramaphosa declared shares in Mondi Paper and Packaging valued at over R2-million, and his directorships of Micawber 799 and 800, the holding company of the McDonald's fast-food chain in South Africa.

He also lists 31 properties in South Africa.

Minister of State Security David Mahlobo declared "a diamond ring, a diamond watch, diamond cufflinks, diamond pen and diamond neck chain" valued at about R28,000 from Saudi Arabia.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema lists four trusts - the Kopano, Munzhedzi, Mazimbu and Ratanang trusts - but no gifts, travel or property.

DA MP Darren Bergman, a member of parliament's sports committee, received an assortment of Springbok jerseys and World Cup ties - and a R650 haircut courtesy of Palladium hair salon.

It was a bad year for Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who declared more than 30 gifts in 2015, including shirts and confectionery, but said he received nothing in 2016. ANC MP Rosina Semenya received a R10,000 watch from a "friend" and a meat pack priced at R201.95 from County Fair.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, known for snacking on and sharing chocolate in the House, received chocolates and wine from the Turkish embassy, a cake plate from Malaysia and a biscuit basket from Standard Bank.

Among the more popular gifts for MPs were tickets to sporting and social events such as the Durban July, the J&B Met, the Cape Town Jazz Festival and Kaizer Chiefs football matches.

Also popular were wine and whisky, tea, biscuits, fruit platters, and ties and socks.

Three MPs other than the 14 did not disclose their interests but the committee condoned the omissions on the grounds that two of them had been sworn in as MPs after the August elections and the third had been seriously ill.

Last year DA leader Mmusi Maimane landed in hot water for failing to disclose funds he had received for his campaign for the leadership of his party.

Singh said a committee had been established to investigate and "we should get a response within the next 30 days".

This year Maimane declared a R25,000 cash gift from Alpha, a Christian mission organisation in London, a R10,000 painting from artist Helene Kapp, a painting of himself and Nelson Mandela, a revolving pencil holder and three pairs of socks, sent monthly for six months.

 - The Times

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