|Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip John Steenhuisen has laid corruption charges against State Security Minister Bongani Bongo at Cape Town Police Station on Wednesday.
“I have today [Wednesday] laid corruption charges against Minister Bongo in terms of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act,” said Steenhuisen.
The case relates to an incident in which the incumbent State Security Minister offered Advocate Nthuthuzelo Vanara an amount of money in exchange to resign from his position as an evidence leader in the Parliamentary inquiry into state capture at Eskom.
According an affidavit Steenhuisen submitted to the police, it is alleged Minister Bongo offered Advocate Vanara an “open cheque” and asked him to “name his price” in exchange for his resignation in order to frustrate the work of the inquiry into Eskom.
It is recorded that Advocate Vanara did not decline or accept the offer made by Minister Bongo but instead, wrote an affidavit and submitted it to the Secretary of the National Assembly, Masibulele Xaso and the acting Secretary of Parliament Baby Tyawa.
A sworn statement indicates that Parliamentary Spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, confirmed the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete received the affidavit from Advocate Vanara and that it was referred to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests.
“It should be noted that at the time of signing this affidavit, Advocate Vanara’s affidavit had not yet been tabled before Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests,” said Steenhuisen.
Steenhuisen said 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.
“Ethics prohibits Ministers from using their positions to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person and requires that they fulfill all obligations imposed upon them by the constitution and law,” said Steenhuisen.
He said these allegations point to a deeply concerning trend at the State Security Agency, saying charges aim to ensure that credibility and the rule of law is restored within the agency.
“We trust these allegations will be taken seriously and investigated fully,” added Steenhuisen.