Vincent Smith confirms Bosasa payments, denies bribes
Smith has also requested that he steps down as chairperson of the constitutional review committee on land expropriation until he has dealt with the allegations.
JOHANNESBURG - Embattled African National Congress (ANC) MP Vincent Smith has broken his silence following allegations that he accepted nearly R800,000 in cash and gifts from the controversial Bosasa group.
In a statement, Smith has confirmed the payments but denied they were bribes, saying he approached Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi for a personal loan to cover his daughter's university fees but denies receiving CCTV cameras at his home.
He says he has done nothing wrong and that he has consulted the leadership of the ANC's parliamentary caucus following the allegations over the weekend.
Smith has also requested that he steps down as chairperson of the constitutional review committee on land expropriation until he has dealt with these allegations.
ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli said: “Comrade Vincent has requested the ethics committee to deal with the matter as soon as possible. He obviously is in a hurry to clear his name. So he has made a request that the committee speedily deals with this particular matter and support him on this call."
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says he welcomes Smith’s willingness to subject himself to the Ethics Committee of Parliament to clear his name.
Mthembu says the party's caucus is inspired by the strong sense of integrity and political accountability displayed by Smith.
Mthembu says he will now consult the party's political committee about Smith's request to step aside as a committee chairperson.
The committee will sit next week Wednesday to consider Smith's request.
No date has yet been set for the Ethics Committee sitting.
(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)