Bongo bribery claims: Charges to be laid - John Steenhuisen

DA Chief Whip says minister allegedly tried to actively collapse the state capture inquiry

Bongo bribery allegations: DA to lay criminal charges and lodge complaint with Public Protector

The DA notes with concern the media reports that newly appointed minister of State Security, Bongani Bongo, is to be investigated by Parliament’s joint ethics committee for allegedly attempting to bribe the evidence leader of the parliamentary enquiry into state capture, Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara.

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 (12 of 2004) and will also be lodging a formal complaint with the Public Protector to investigate Bongo’s alleged violation of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act (82 of 1998).

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.

If proved to be true, these allegations serve as basis for criminal charges to be pursued and they further amount to 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 fulfill all obligations imposed upon them by the constitution and law.

The latest raft of allegations further demonstrate a deeply concerning trend for minister Bongo and the beleaguered State Security Agency (SSA).

Despite the fact that minister Bongo has only recently been appointed following President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle on 17 October, it has already emerged that he is 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 Department of Human Settlements of Mpumalanga in 2012.

The DA has already undertaken to submit parliamentary questions to ascertain if Bongo was properly vetted by the SSA prior to being appointed.

We will now escalate our efforts to ensure that credibility and the rule of law is returned to the operation of the SSA through criminal charges and our complaint to the Public Protector.

Statement issued by John Steenhuisen MP, Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, 19 November 2017