Zille, Fransman, other politicians declare assets
(This article was published on 8 May 2016 in the Weekend Argus, a weekly newspaper published by Independent Media in Cape Town, Western Cape province.)
Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
A diary, dustbin, flowers, ladies takkies, pen and pencil set, photo frame, toy helicopter and a Chinese statue “from a Chinese journalist” were among gifts that Premier Helen Zille received in the last financial year.
All of this is listed in Zille’s disclosure of interests to the Western Cape provincial legislature, which requires all its 42 members to declare their assets, financial interests and gifts they may have received in the last financial year.
The Western Cape province’s leader also declared her R2,5m house in Rosebank and a R750,000 house in Parklands “bought for domestic help”.
Zille’s investments in various companies include First Rand (R23,750), Reinet (R98,850), SAB Miller (R86,359) and New Gold (R86,109).
Zille also has R200,000 in a trust. Other gifts include a boat trip valued at R20,000 and “packets of cookies” worth R300.
Countrywide, provincial legislature members submit their declarations at the end of a financial year, in the interest of clean governance.
In the dodgy world of politics, where money meets power, scrutiny about where politicians invest their money and the gifts they receive could influence public spending.
Suspended provincial ANC leader Marius Fransman declared that he owns 50% of two properties in Kuils River, one worth R1,6m and another at R2m.
Fransman also said a trust in his name was currently “dormant”.
Another ANC legislature member Carol Beerwinkel declared she has “family members who are doing business with different spheres of government”.
Other legislature members, such as Sharon Davids, are business owners too. The ANC’s Pat Lekker meanwhile owns 25% shares in a construction company.
Members also have to declare any additional income they have earned. To this end, the ANC’s Cameron Dugmore said he was paid R3,000 for a “speech at a corporate event”.
Dugmore also received weekend accommodation worth R10,000 at a Plett Lagoon villa.
Provincial legislature speaker Sharna Fernandez did not declare much, apart from her R4m property in Heathfield.
A number of the DA’s legislature members appear to be mini property moguls.
Anroux Marais owns a R1,3m home in Langebaan and is a partial owner in four other homes valued between R800,000 and R1,5m in Langebaan, Sea Point, Somerset West and Wilderness.
Marais also has R50,000 shares in Sanlam and R28,000 shares in Old Mutual.
Ivan Meyer owns five properties in Belhar, Brackenfell, Ceres and Montagu. His pension funds are worth R3m in total and he has shares invested in MTN, Sasol, Sanlam and elsewhere.
Alan Winde owns a R1m house in Knysna, a R2,5m house in Cape Town and 50% of an R800,000 commercial property in Knysna.
Winde’s gifts in the last year have included a R6000 Cartier ballpoint pen and a R7,124 cycling kit from Absa bank.
Tickets for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and musician Lionel Ritchie’s concert were handed as gifts to a number of legislature members.
Albert Fritz received Lionel Ritchie concert tickets worth R2999 and Cape Town Jazz Festival tickets worth R2430.
Nomafrench Mbombo, in charge of the province’s health department, received tickets worth R3,200 to the jazz festival.
Mbombo meanwhile owns a R500,000 house in the Eastern Cape and a R2,4m house in the Western Cape.
The EFF’s Bernard Joseph declared that he owns 50% of a R1,2m three-bedroom house in an area not listed in his submission.
Joseph said he also received six bottles of white wine but could not say how much it cost as he claims to “not know the value of wine”.
Beverley Schafer, who owns vacant land in Langebaan, said she had a local fashion designer sponsor her dress for the State of the Nation address at Parliament. She said she returned the dress.
Schafer also received free hotel stays and a trip to Germany.
Various members showed also they have a knack for investments.
The DA’s PJC Pretorius, who owns a R2m house in Welgelegen, has shares worth just over R10m in various companies including Bidvest, British American Tobacco, Naspers, Mondi, Sanlam, Old Mutual, Steinhof and Woolworths.
The ANC’s chief whip Pierre Uys owns half of two properties, a R1,9m home in Kuils River and a R3m home in Stilbaai. His investments in various companies total almost R2m.