Bongani Bongo out on R10K bail, Mabuza denies involvement in alleged crimes
Cape Town – Former state security minister and ANC MP Bongani Bongo, chairperson of Parliament's portfolio committee on home affairs, and his brother Joel were released on R10 000 bail each at the Mbombela Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
They are to return to court on March 4. The Bongo brothers appeared with 10 co-accused on 69 charges linked to a time when Bongani was a Mpumalanga government official.
Four companies are also on the charge sheet for corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.
The charge dates back as far as February 2012 and are in connection with more than R124 million paid by the Mpumalanga government to acquire farms and alleged kickbacks that flowed to officials for inflating the prices.
This includes the R37.5 million sale and purchase of a farm in Naauwpoort, Emalahleni, by the Mpumalanga department of human settlements, apparently on behalf of the eMalahleni Municipality. The owner of the farm, Petrus Johannes van Tonder, was allegedly paid only R15 million for the farm.
The Bongos appeared with 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.
Bongani Bongo is facing a separate corruption charge in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, after allegedly trying to bribe an advocate on the parliamentary commission of inquiry into irregularities at Eskom during the four months that he was state security minister, from October 2017 to February 2018.
Meanwhile, Deputy President David Mabuza’s spokesperson, Matshepo Seedat, said in a statement while the alleged irregularities in Mpumalanga took place during this tenure as premier in the province, “he would like to categorically deny any involvement and condemns any attempt to drag his name in any form or capacity into the criminal conduct under investigation’’.
"The deputy president does, however, welcome the progress made in the Special Investigating Unit's investigation into the Mpumalanga Human Settlements land procurement issue.
"The deputy president appeals to the public to allow the law to take its course without hindrance and should extend their support to our law enforcement agencies in carrying out their work by providing them with any evidential information that they might be aware of in order to expedite the investigation process."