ANC MP Steps Down To Clear His Name Amid Allegations Of Corruption

If found guilty, Vincent Smith would be ill-equipped to chair any portfolio committee. PICTURE: Mail&Guardian

JOHANNESBURG: Over the weekend, the City Press reported that Vincent Smith received university fees for his daughter and a top security upgrade at his home from Bosasa.

Smith, who last week took the position of chairperson of the portfolio committee on Justice, is also alleged to have received R100,000 from the company’s CEO Gavin Watson every month which Smith and Bosasa are said to have denied.

He’s reportedly said that some payments were personal loans.

In a statement issued by the African National Congress (ANC), Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu said he “has had an interaction with comrade Vincent Smith regarding allegations raised about him in the media over the weekend.”

“We welcome his willingness to subject himself to the Ethics Committee of Parliament in effort to clear his name. We further welcome his voluntary declaration to appear before the ANC Integrity Commission to ventilate these matters that have been raised in the media, as a means of being held accountable by his organisation, the African National Congress,” said Mthembu. 

“Whilst we are moved by comrade Smith’s unshakeable, ethical and moral request to step aside as chairperson of the various parliamentary committees he chairs, pending the conclusion of the Ethics Committee process; the ANC Chief Whip will be presenting this request to the ANC Caucus Political Committee scheduled to sit next Wednesday. We will, therefore, respond to his undertaken to step aside pending the decision of that meeting.

“Whilst we do not understand the motive behind those who put this story in the public domain; we can only suspect that their timing is inspired by the ANC’s position on the expropriation of land without compensation. In the recent weeks, comrade Smith has been on national and international platforms articulating the ANC’s position on the expropriation of land without compensation.

“We are therefore convinced that he is a target of the organisations who are vehemently opposed to our people getting access to the land that they were dispossessed from by Colonial and Apartheid oppressors.

“We are, however, very inspired by the strong sense of integrity and political accountable displayed by comrade Smith. Our confidence in him remains unblemished,” the statement conclude.