South Africa's sports minister appeared on corruption charges in a Johannesburg court on Wednesday as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the era of ex-president Jacob Zuma, as his party, the ANC, seeks a coalition after its setback in the legislative elections.

Prominent African National Congress (ANC) member Zizi Kodwa was formally charged at a specialist court in southern Johannesburg alongside a co-accused, a business associate, in a bail hearing broadcast live on the internet.

“We can confirm that two people were arrested this morning (Wednesday, editor's note) following the recommendations of the Zondo commission on 'state capture',” Thandi Mbambo, a spokesperson for the police. The Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Zondo commission is a commission of inquiry headed by a judge, Raymond Zondo, into corruption practiced under the presidency of Jacob Zuma (2009-2018). This former pillar of the ANC was pushed before the end of his second term to resign by his own camp in 2018 after a series of scandals.

In 2022, this commission presented President Cyril Ramaphosa with a damning report exposing the central role played by Jacob Zuma in the looting of state coffers during his nine years in power.

According to the news site News24, Zizi Kodwa is accused of having received 1.6 million rand (around 78,000 euros) in bribes in connection with contracts signed by the city of Johannesburg to improve and maintain the system IT of its metro.

This affair comes at a delicate time for the ANC.

The party in power for thirty years has just suffered a historic setback by losing its absolute majority in the legislative elections for the first time since the advent of democracy in this country in 1994. It is currently holding discussions with other parties to form a coalition government.

The ANC only obtained 159 seats out of 400, a clear disappointment compared to the 230 parliamentarians it has in the outgoing Parliament, in a context where the country is burdened by persistent unemployment, high inequalities and record crime. .

The Democratic Alliance (DA), the leading opposition party, obtained 87 deputies. The uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, led by Jacob Zuma, currently still being prosecuted for corruption, becomes the third force in the country with 49 parliamentarians.

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