President Jacob Zuma shakes new State Security Minister Bongani Bongo's hand after his swearing-in in October. Judge John Hlope looks on. File photo: ANA/Chantall Presence

Cape Town - Recently appointed State Security Minister Bongani Bongo has been trying to "undermine" parliament's state capture inquiry for some time, the Economic Freedom Fighters said on Sunday.
 
"The EFF welcomes the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly to refer minister Bongo to the parliament ethics committee following his attempts to bribe evidence leader of parliament’s state capture inquiry advocate [Ntuthuzelo] Vanara," EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.

"Bongo has been trying to undermine the state capture inquiry for some time. We know for sure that he is among those who in the ANC parliament caucus argued for its termination and lost. We call on parliament to act speedily on Bongo to ensure that he does not go on any further to undermine parliament's work to hold the executive accountable," Ndlozi said.

Earlier on Sunday, the Democratic Alliance said it would lay criminal charges and lodge a complaint with the public protector against Bongo following further bribery allegations.

The DA noted with concern the media reports that Bongo was to be investigated by parliament’s joint ethics committee for allegedly attempting to bribe Vanara, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said.

Read: DA to lay charges against state security minister on bribery claims

“In addition to the committee’s investigation we will be laying criminal charges of corruption against minister Bongo in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act… and will also be lodging a formal complaint with the public protector to investigate Bongo’s alleged violation of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.

“The latest allegations of corruption against Bongo suggest that he has tried to actively collapse the state capture inquiry by offering advocate Vanara a bribe to resign as evidence leader in the probe into allegations of state capture at Eskom,” he said.

Despite the fact that Bongo had only recently been appointed during President Jacob Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle on October 17, it had already emerged that he was currently under active investigation by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) for his alleged involvement in fraud and corruption while he served as the head of legal services in the Mpumalanga human settlements department in 2012, Steenhuisen said.

Earlier, the Sunday Times reported that Bongo was accused of offering a bribe, in a form of “blank cheque”, to Vanara, who made the shocking allegation in a sworn statement submitted to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, the newspaper reported.

Also read: DA wants answers on Bongo's security clearance despite Hawks probe

Ndlozi said the EFF did not expect Bongo's "illegitimate criminal principal Jacob Zuma to do anything about his alleged attempt to offer a bribe to collapse the state of inquiry investigations".

"This is because he too is a criminal and is probably the one that sent Bongo to undermine the inquiry. It is in the best interest of Zuma to collapse the inquiry since it is revealing all the criminality and corruption he is involved in to advance the selfish interests of his family and business partners, the Guptas. 
 
"We shall be writing to the public protector to report Bongo in terms of the Executive Ethics Act. We shall do this to yet again test advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's judicial integrity," Ndlozi said.