Bongo and accomplices living in leisure until 2022

Bongo and accomplices living in leisure until 2022

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GK CRONJE

11 May 2021

Some of the accused, as members of Pfuka Afrika CC, received commission of R4.5m.

In a bizarre turn of events, the case against former state security minister, Bongani Bongo, and 11 others in connection with the R37.5 million sale and purchase of a farm in Mpumalanga was postponed until January 2022. Bongo, his former wife Sandile Nkosi, and 10 others appeared briefly at the Mbombela magistrate’s court on Tuesday, collectively facing 69 counts of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. Bongo, his brother Sipho, Robert Burwise, Patrick Donald Chirwa, Harrington Sizwakhendaba Dhlamini, Blessing Mduduzi Singwane, David Boy Dube, Vusi Willem Magagula, Bongani Louis Henry Sibiya, Elmon Lawrence Mdaka and Sibongile Mercy Mdaka were also arrested by the Hawks in October 2021, following a lengthy investigation. It is alleged that some of the accused acted to exploit the purchase of land by government, and misrepresented facts to the department regarding ownership and the true sale price of the farm.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the real owner of the farm, Petrus van Tonder, was paid only R15m for the farm from the R37.5m. The money was paid into the trust account of Singwane Attorneys in their capacity as conveyancer appointed by the department. Amongst the dubious transactions, closer to home, one of Bongo’s enterprises, Bongiveli CC, entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Fremax Farms for a portion of Rietspruit Farm just outside Ermelo for an amount of R10.5 million. However, Msukaligwa Local Municipality’s valuation of the portion of the Rietspruit Farm was valued at R1.6 million. Msukaligwa Local Municipality has washed their hands of the matter, stating that their paperwork and sale agreement was above board. Little River Trading paid R1.5m as a deposit for the farm and Bongiveli had to deliver a guarantee issued by a bank or financial institution for payment of the balance of the purchase price on or before May 31 2011. Some of the accused, as members of Pfuka Afrika CC, received commission of R4.5m. The accused were released on R10 000 bail each, and is set to appear before the court in January 2022.