South Africa: Former Minister and ANC MP Bongani Bongo Granted R5000 Bail in Corruption Case

21 November 2019

ANC MP and former state security minister Bongani Bongo made a brief appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Thursday morning in connection with allegations of corruption.

His bail was set at R5 000 on condition that he not make any contact with State witnesses, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed in a statement.

He was asked to return on January 31. No photos were allowed to be taken of Bongo inside the court room.

The MP is accused of trying to disrupt a Parliamentary inquiry into state capture at power utility Eskom on October 10, 2017.

"Bongo, who was the Minister of State Security at the time, allegedly approached an advocate within the commission who was an evidence leader to take sick leave on the day of the commencement of the [inquiry] with a view to derail the proceedings," said Mulaudzi.

The advocate was allegedly "offered an open cheque bribe and he consequently alerted his seniors, which culminated in the Hawks investigation," Mulaudzi added.

As part of his bail conditions, Bongo also has to give the investigating officer two weeks' notice if he plans to take an overseas trip.

Earlier this year, Parliament's joint ethics committee agreed to set up a subcommittee to look into charges of misconduct against him.

Bongo currently serves as a member of Parliament for the ANC and was elected as chair of Parliament's home affairs committee in July.

At the time, the ANC insisted its choices for chairpersons of the National Assembly's committees were "capable comrades" and were not there to serve certain factions.

News24 previously reported that Bongo's sudden rise to Minister of State Security in 2017 raised some eyebrows.

Three years before his promotion, he was an unknown MP in Mpumalanga, having only been in Parliament for six months. His allegiance to former president Jacob Zuma went as far as supporting government efforts to ban Jacques Pauw's controversial book about Zuma.

- Compiled by Sheldon Morais, Jenni Evans and Jenna Etheridge

Source: News24

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