The noose tightens for Bongo and friends

The noose tightens for Bongo and friends

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GK CRONJE

31 August 2021

The case will see 12 people charged, collectively with 69 counts of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act in a charge sheet running to more than 70 pages.

Former state security minister, Bongani Bongo, who, along with several co-accused, have been embroiled in a land fraud saga, where millions of Rands were siphoned through front accounts after making various dodgy land deals, including the infamous Rietspruit Farm near Ermelo.
Bongo’s corruption case was postponed to January 2022. Bongo’s ex-wife, Sandile Nkosi, is accused of having received R1 million as part of the attempt to recommend the law firm, Singwane & Partners, as dodgy service providers to the department for the sales of the farms in question. Amidst the slew of charges against him, Bongo, who has since been chairperson of the Department of Home Affairs, has shown defiance in the face of the charges, stating that he has no intention of stepping down because he is confident that the Mpumalanga courts will acquit him.

His demeanor has now led to his fall, as Bongo has been axed as head of the committee after the ANC caucus made changes in Parliament. ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said the changes were necessitated by the Cabinet reshuffle after some of the committee chairpersons were appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as ministers and deputy ministers. Bongo has been replaced by fellow ANC MP Mosa Chabane. In his upcoming court case, Bongo is accused, amongst others, of having been “gifted” a BMW X5 in order to exert pressure on department officials to effect payments to Singwane & Partners. The case will see 12 people charged, collectively with 69 counts of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act in a charge sheet running to more than 70 pages.

Additionally, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has announced that it would appeal the decision to acquit Bongo on charges of attempting to bribe a former parliamentary official, Ntuthuzelo Vanara. Western Cape Judge President, John Hlophe, granted Bongo his section 174 application and found him not guilty on a charge of corruption on the basis of insufficient evidence. At the time, Vanara was evidence leader in the parliamentary investigation into the capture of SOEs, now known as the Zondo commission.