The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it had written to National Assembly speaker, Thandi Modise to fire, ANC MP, Bongani Bongo as Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs chairman, pending the outcome of his criminal cases.
On Tuesday, Bongo appeared in the Mbombela Magistrate’s Court alongside 10 others in connection with fraud and corruption related to a dubious land deal worth R124 million. They are out on R10 000 bail each. The case was postponed to March 4, 2021.
Mpumalanga DA Leader, Jane Sithole said the dodgy land deals included:
- In Malelane during 2011, a businessman named Veli Magagula, trading as Bongivele CC bought a 70-hectare combined farm for R41 million and then he sold it to the Nkomazi local municipality for R50 million.
- In Ermelo in 2011, the same Bongivele CC bought portion 6 of the farm Rietspruit 437 from Freemax Farms for almost R12 million and sold it to the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport for R36.48 million.
- There was an instance in Emalahleni local municipality where 75.2-hectre Naawupoort valued at R2.1 million and sold R37.5million.
“In 2012, DA sent written questions to Mpumalanga Human Settlement MEC, questioning the purpose of the land purchase, area, price, and commencement of the development plan.
DA filed criminal charges and asked the Hawks to investigate alleged corruption related to the land sale. At last we welcome the progress and the arrests, “said Sithole.
The land deal implicates Bongo, while serving as legal adviser to the Mpumalanga Human Settlement Department, allegedly got R300,000 deposit for a BMW through a corrupt deal in 2011.
Bongo’s attempt to offer a bribe to a lawyer, Ntuthuzelo Vanara, head of evidence in a parliamentary inquiry into Eskom’s state capture, plunged him into hot water.
In an affidavit to the then Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, Vanara alleged Bongo told him the acting Eskom CEO, Zethembe Khoza had sent him to offer a bribe, “blank check” to stop the Committee’s investigation into Eskom.
Bongo is one of the cabinet ministers fired by President Cyril Ramaphosa after serving as Minister of State Security for four months.
In a statement DA Chief Whip, Natasha Mazzone asked Modise to fire Bongo as chairman Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs chairman.
“We also call on Parliament to remove Bongo as chairman of one of the national public participation hearings on amendments to Article 25 of the Constitution,” said Bazzone.
During the DA debate on national corruption on COVID-19 on Monday, Mazzone said ANC lawmakers made numerous speeches informing the public that the Parliament’s portfolio Committees leads the charge against corruption allegations.
“It is inconceivable that an MP caught by the Hawks and implicated during the Zondo Commission of Inquiry remains chairman of the parliament portfolio committee,” said Mazzone.
Mazzone said the DA needs parliament to take the lead and send a strong message to the people of South Africa to dismiss Bongo to show that this institution act on those involved in corruption and abuses.