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ANC MP Vincent Smith steps down from committees over bribery claims

Smith made the request after allegations that he accepted nearly R800,000 from the controversial Bosasa Group.

Co-chairperson of the constitutional review committee Vincent Smith during a media briefing in Kempton Park, Johannesburg 24 June 2018. The committee is tasked with reviewing Section 25 of the Constitution for the expropriation of land without compensation. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has granted Vincent Smith’s request to step aside as chairperson of the three parliamentary committees he chairs.

Smith made the request after allegations that he accepted nearly R800,000 from the controversial Bosasa Group.

The member of Parliament has confirmed the payments but denied they were bribes.

In a statement, the ANC has confirmed he'll be stepping aside until an investigation by the ethics committee wraps up.

“The political committee welcomed and agreed to grant comrade Smith permission to step aside from chairing any portfolio committee until the finalisation of this case. Having allowed him to step aside as chairperson, he will remain an ordinary member of all committees he is a member of.”

The ANC says it has deployed some of its MPs in Parliament to hold the fort as interim chairpersons until the conclusion of the matter.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)