Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s declaration of interests to Parliament include a sheep, Russian vodka and champaign (sic) glasses.
This information, along with that of other MPs, is contained in the 2018 register of members’ interests made public by Parliament this week. The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests is responsible for compilation and publication of the 286 page document.
According to the document Mapisa-Nqakula has no shares and other financial interests and she also has “nothing to disclose” when it comes to remunerated employment outside Parliament. The same applies to consultancies, retainers and sponsorships.
Gifts and hospitality come mostly from foreign countries where the Minister visited or who called on her to discuss matters ranging from military co-operation, joint exercises, exchange of knowledge and defence industrial issues.
Gifts listed include two bottles of Russian vodka from the Russian Embassy, “gold” from her Serbian counterpart as well as a fur coat and the erroneously named glasses to be used for the consumption of Sekt, as champagne is called in Russia.
The sheep was given to the Minister by the Matatiele Primary School which also gave Mapisa-Nqakula a Basotho hat, two blankets and a handmade handbag. The minister was in Matatiele earlier this month to hand over bridges built by the South African Army.
The Minister did not give any information on the cost of these items to the Parliamentary Committee.
Other gifts listed by her include flowers from the chief executive of Armscor (not named); a fabric covered wooden frame featuring an elephant from the “Brazzaville Ministry of Defence”, umbrella, pen, plate and cup from the 2016 Southern African Development Community Summit in Swaziland, scarf, stand with war horse and silver plug from the Pakistan Ministry of Defence; Kremlin vodka and small wooden salt and pepper containers from Russia as well as a clay tray, hand lotion and deodorant from Cuba.
Mapisa-Nqakula’s deputy, Kebby Maphatsoe, whose primary area of responsibility is the well-being of military veterans lists 14 items under gifts and hospitality with a total value of just over R50 000. He was presented with, among others, a shield, portraits (the register does not specify if they are of him), a “Chinese waal cloth”, a glass vase, a pencil and cufflinks.