Corruption-accused former state security minister Bongani Bongo has opted to take a leave of absence as a member of Parliament and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member.
This ahead of a corruption case in which Bongo is accused of trying to bribe an evidence leader in a parliamentary inquiry into state capture at Eskom in October 2017. He was arrested in November 2019, and granted R5,000 bail.
Bongo allegedly asked an advocate within the commission, Nthuthuzelo Vanara, to take sick leave when proceedings were set to start, to “derail proceedings”, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). He was still state security minister at the time he offered Vanara “unlawful gratification”.
The “blank cheque” offered by Bongo was in a sworn statement by Vanara.
The portfolio committee on public enterprises’ inquiry explored Eskom’s ability to discharge its fiduciary duties and the ailing power utility’s financial status. It also probed Eskom’s response to former CEO Brian Molefe being implicated in then public protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report, Molefe’s Eskom reappointment, and his retirement package.
Despite the allegations, Bongo was still elected chair of parliament’s home affairs committee in July last year.
The portfolio committee tasked with investigating Eskom reportedly worked under “hostile” conditions, including threats to personal security, car tampering, and an incident where the child of a committee member was approached.
Bongo has denied all allegations of corruption against him.
(Compiled by Nica Richards. Background reporting by News24 Wire)