DA chief whip John Steenhuisen on Wednesday laid corruption charges against Minister of State Security Bongani Bongo.
“These charges relate directly to the allegations that Bongo has allegedly offered to bribe Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the evidence leader in the Parliamentary inquiry into state capture at Eskom,” Steenhuisen said in a media statement.
The Democratic Alliance alleges that Bongo contravened the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
Media reports claimed that Vanara filed an affidavit, submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete, in which he said Bongo offered him a “blank cheque” to step down as evidence leader in the Eskom inquiry.
Mbete referred the matter to Parliament’s joint ethics committee.
“The DA views Minister Bongo’s actions as a gross violation of the provisions of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act and the associated Executive Ethics Code which, amongst others, prohibits ministers from using their position to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person and requires that ministers fulfil all obligations imposed upon them by the Constitution and law,” Steenhuisen said.
“These allegations point to a deeply concerning trend at the State Security Agency (SSA), and as such, the charges aim to ensure that credibility and the rule of law are restored within the SSA”.
Steenhuisen said he trusted the allegations would be taken seriously and investigated fully.
Bongo refused to comment on the claims until he obtained legal advice, according to Business Day.
This is not the only charge the DA has laid against Bongo, who was elevated from the ANC backbenches to Cabinet during President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle in October.
The DA laid charges with the Hawks concerning the sale of the 414-hectare Rietspruit farm in Mpumalanga, at R36.4m in 2011.
Bongo served as the head of legal services in the Mpumalanga department of human settlements.
It is alleged he and other human settlements officials allegedly milked taxpayers through dodgy land deals, News24 sister publication City Press reported.
It is further alleged that Bongo was responsible for drafting the contracts for the purchase of Rietspruit farm (Ermelo), Portion 156 of the farm Malelane and Naauwpoort (Emalahleni). They were collectively sold for millions more than their actual price.
Last week Steenhuisen threatened to take legal action against SSA director general Arthur Fraser, following explosive allegations made by investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw in his book, The President’s Keepers.