From toilet paper and vegetables to Persian rugs and expensive bottles of wine – some Eastern Cape members of parliament emerged more favoured than others when they disclosed the gifts they received.
While our local men and women’s spoils were far more humble than those of their national counterparts, had it been a popularity contest, ministers for defence and land reform would have come out tops.
The MPs have disclosed their financial interests, gifts and travel in accordance with parliamentary rules.
The committee on ethics and members’ interests then released the register on Tuesday.
While Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti did a lot more unwrapping than their colleagues, the declaratory list also revealed which members owned a string of properties and what their outside business interests were.
While some attested to owning several properties around the country, or having shares in some lucrative companies, one minister said he had been given a sheep, which he had not yet collected.
Mapisa-Nqakula said she had received a “big, purple scarf” from her Thailand counterpart, a gold plate from Nigeria and a miniature statue from Doha.
She said she had even been given “two boxes of scones to the value of R600”, toilet paper and 100 chairs.
Nkwinti received cufflinks and caviar from Poland, several bottles of wine, feta and cheddar cheese, and a sheep, which he said he had not yet claimed.
Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said she had received an iPhone 6 Plus valued at R11 000 from MTN, and eight sets of jazz tickets from MTN, Telkom and the Department of Arts and Culture.
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas received a Persian rug from Iran.
Husband and wife Ndumiso and Rosemary Capa did not receive any gifts, and neither did former ANC Youth League president Mlungisi “Lulu” Johnson or ANC MP Charles Nqakula.
On the business side of things, the DA’s Yusuf Cassim said he owned shares in Netcare, Telkom, MTN, Vodacom and Sasol, to name a few.
Malcolm Figg, also DA, revealed that he was a director of Dr Malcolm Figg and Associates, VSJ Trading CC, Yeki Holdings Private Co, Cebi Capital Private Co and Taboo Trading 106 Private Co, and had shares in Allan Gray.
In terms of property, Nqakula said he owned five properties, in Johannesburg, East London and Cradock.
ANC MP Cedric Frolick said he owned two houses, one of which is in the upmarket Lovemore Heights suburb in Port Elizabeth.