ANC MP Bongani Bongo’s bribery case postponed due to lockdown

Bongani Bongo answering questions before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in the New Assembly in Parliament on December 07, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Lindile Mbontsi)

ANC MP Bongani Bongo will have to wait until August to defend himself against bribery allegations, as cases continue being postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Bongo’s matter in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday was postponed to August 14. This is for another pre-trial conference.

The former state security minister has been accused of trying to bribe an evidence leader in an inquiry into Eskom’s woes.

He was arrested last November and granted bail of R5 000.

He is now chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs.

‘Hostile’ conditions

The NPA said the matter dated back to 2017 after advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara was appointed evidence leader of the portfolio committee on public enterprises’ inquiry into the governance, procurement and financial sustainability of Eskom.

The committee noted in its report that it had worked under “hostile” conditions, with people trying to subvert or smear its work.This included car tampering, threats to personal security, delays, people not appearing as expected and even going so far as approaching the child of a committee member.

“Attempts were allegedly also made by the erstwhile State Security Minister Bongani Bongo to offer a bribe to advocate Vanara with a blank cheque to try to derail the work of this committee,” it alleged.The matter was referred to Parliament’s ethics committee, and DA MP John Steenhuisen opened a corruption complaint in 2017.

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