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South African minister Kodwa charged with corruption, announces resignation

SOUTH Africa’s minister of sports, arts and culture Zizi Kodwa was arrested on corruption charges and later appeared in court before issuing a statement to announce his resignation.

A spokesperson for Kodwa said in a statement that he strongly denied the charges against him.

Kodwa was given the sports, arts and culture portfolio in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet last year after being deputy minister of state security.

He was spokesperson of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 2014 to 2017.

After losing its majority in last week’s parliamentary election, the ANC is leaning towards trying to form a government of national unity with a wide range of parties.

Kodwa was granted bail during a hearing at a magistrate’s court in Johannesburg, the elite police unit the Hawks said in a statement. His lawyer said he would not evade trial and would disclose his defence at a later stage, footage by public broadcaster SABC showed.

The charges against Kodwa stem from a judicial inquiry into alleged corruption during former president Jacob Zuma’s time in office.

Kodwa allegedly received a bribe of about 1.7 million rand ($90,000) from an executive of a local technology company that received tenders from government departments. The Hawks said the money was reportedly used to buy a luxury car among other things.

By The African Mirror