Parliament this week released its Register of Declarations for 2019/2020. Members of Parliament (MPs)s declare shares, directorships and properties in the register.
But often, it’s the gifts they’ve received that raise eyebrow and leave mouths hanging open.
What would you like for Christmas? An expensive bottle of whiskey? The latest smartphone or what about a wristwatch valued at R750 000? Well, if you’re a member of Parliament, you don’t have to wait for the jolly season.
These are just some of the gifts they’ve received.
A few MPs have received laptops, Cuban cigars and the Russian Ambassador to South Africa makes sure that most members of the executive are stocked up on the finest vodka.
Police Minister Bheki Cele is the only one who declared a wristwatch worth R750 000. He says in his declaration that the entire cabinet received one during a state visit to Saudi Arabia in 2018.
In terms of property, most MPs own residential properties, a few own farms, but the most interesting must be the funeral parlour owned by deputy ANC Chief Whip, Doris Dlakude.
If you have good friends like Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, then you’ve won the jackpot. She has listed various gifts such as a sheep, bedding vouchers, shoes, sleepwear, a handbag, and a 12-piece tea set received from family friends.
Maybe a bit of a raw deal for Police Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Tina Joemat-Petterson, who only declared fake pearls worth R800 from the Republic of China. You could say it’s the thought that counts.
Agriculture and Land Reform Minister, Thoko Didiza’s gift registry is almost pitiful. Among others, she got one black pen, one can of Pilchards fish and one can of sardines.
Unlike her colleague, Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, who was treated to among others a Pilchards hamper and a cookbook. Although his cooking shenanigans on Twitter make you wonder if it’s a fish or garlic stew.
From the opposition benches, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, John Steenhuisen, declared whiskey, cigars, and a laptop worth nearly R20 000. His predecessor, Mmusi Maimane, was spoiled with Chanel Nr-five cologne, Oakley sunglasses and hotel accommodation worth R15 000.
But it’s African National Congress (ANC) MP, Boy Mamabolo, who knows true friendship though. He lists that his friend gave him R40 000 as a gift and the same friend loaned him R40 000 to host his son’s first birthday. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Parliament publishes the financial interests of MPs for 2019/2020: