Bheki Cele

A video of what’s reported to be Minister of Police Bheki Cele’s daughter partying without any underwear is the first of 2022 to go viral. Photo: Alexander/Sunday Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Sheep, pyjamas and luxury watches: We unwrap top SA politicians’ gifts

From a watch worth over R750k to flowers, pyjamas, a wall mat and more: Here are the declarations made from the current cohort of MPs in SA.

Bheki Cele

A video of what’s reported to be Minister of Police Bheki Cele’s daughter partying without any underwear is the first of 2022 to go viral. Photo: Alexander/Sunday Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The latest edition of parliament’s register of members’ interests gives South Africans the opportunity to see what sort of gifts politicians in South Africa declared in the first of their five-year term, starting in 2019.

SA MPs and the gifts received

According to TimesLive, members of parliament (MPs) from across the political divide were pampered with gifts such as canned fish, fruit baskets, bouquets of flowers, free soccer tickets, livestock, holidays and cash donations from generous friends and church congregants.

One of these included Police Minister Bheki Cele who received a Patek Philippe luxury watch worth more than R750 000 from the King of Saudi Arabia, while another ANC MP, Mikateko Mahlaule, declared gifts such as hospitality accommodation worth R5 000 which was sponsored by a “friend”. The friend in question, Sammy Mashita, actually made various sponsorships to the MP.

“I have not been sponsored since I assumed office but ordinarily would be sponsored by the ANCYL, as I was a member of the national executive committee, and at times by Mr Sammy Mashita for various reasons including attending his events, as he is in the events industry,” says Mahlaule in his declaration form.

Mashita, alongside his wife Pheladi Mphahlele, are the owners of Crocia Events, which was flagged for investigation for allegedly inflating prices while hosting government funerals.

It seems ANC MP Giovanni April, got very lucky after he was awarded a R5 million tender by the department of public works over a period of three years.

Properties and derby tickets

The register also showed how nearly all MPs acquired properties and shares in various sectors. One of these includes Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who declared a total of over 40 000 shares in companies including Nedbank, Naspers, Investec, Shoprite, Bidvest and British American Tobacco.

Meanwhile, Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma declared a long list of gifts she had received from a “family friend” – saying that most of the gifts had been less than R1 500. Her gifts included flowers, pyjamas, a wall mat, horns, clay pots, earrings, tea and a dinner set.

EFF MP Thembinkosi Apleni declared three monetary donations. He received R30 000 and R8 000 separately from “USA COC” and R25 00 from an Eastern Cape church. EFF leader Julius Malema declared a short list of gifts, ranging from books and flowers to free Soweto derby tickets. His most expensive gift was a cellphone – a S8 Galaxy – worth R11 000, which was sponsored by Telkom.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach declared she had received over R2 million from the FW de Klerk Foundation, which footed a legal bill. She also declared a return business class ticket worth about R55 000 and paid for by “Mr N Kirsh”.  A week-long holiday, the value of which was not stated, was also declared.

What’s more, according to 2OceansVibe, DA leader John Steenhuisen received Jonny Walker Black Label whisky by the Taiwan consulate, estimated to be worth around R2 500, and cigars and coffee from the Cuban Foreign Service.

Sheep and other goodies

This while Health Minister Zweli Mkhize received two sheep, worth around R1 200, from the KwaZulu-Natal royal houses, a photo frame containing a knobkerrie, paintings, rooibos tea, notebooks and pens, an ANC bag and party T-shirts, along with bottles of wine, biltong and nuts, a power bank from Iqbal Survé and fitbit watches.

Besides the sheep, the next most expensive item he received as a gift was a bottle of Santiago de Cuba Ron Rum and a coffee and tea set from the Cuban ambassador worth R900.