CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — A South African cabinet minister and three other lawmakers from the ruling African National Congress party were cleared of corruption Tuesday by a parliamentary ethics committee.
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi and lawmakers Cedric Frolick, Mosebenzi Zwane and Winnie Ngwenya were implicated following a commission of inquiry into allegations of large-scale corruption under former President Jacob Zuma, who was South Africa’s leader from 2009-18.
The four lawmakers had been under investigation since last year over separate allegations.
Nxesi was accused of receiving money from a company connected to well-known South African businessman and government contractor Edwin Sodi.
Sodi’s relationship with and payments to prominent ANC figures came under scrutiny at the commission of inquiry. He is reportedly under investigation by the anti-corruption Special Investigating Unit over another government contract.
The Zondo Commission of Inquiry ran for four years from 2018-22 under Judge Raymond Zondo. It revealed widespread graft involving big-money contracts in government and state-owned entities. Numerous high-profile ANC politicians were implicated in receiving improper payments but no one has been convicted in a criminal trial.
Zuma, who resigned as president in 2018, is on trial on charges of corruption, racketeering, fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, but that case relates to an arms deal the South African government signed with French company Thales before Zuma was president.
Zuma’s trial began in 2021 but is yet to hear any testimony and has been postponed multiple times.
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