Former South African state security minister Bongani Bongo was arrested on Thursday and arraigned before the courts on corruption charges.
South African media reported that the corruption charges relate to him allegedly attempting to bribe a parliamentary employee, Ntuthuzelo Vanara, in 2017 by offering him an unlawful gratification.
In 2017, Bongo and the then South Africa’s Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula were sent to Zimbabwe to meet the late President Robert Mugabe and the Command Element during the height of the bloody coup that ended 37 years of Mugabe’s iron rule.
During the time of the alleged crime, Vanara was leading evidence in Parliament’s probe into state capture at state-owned enterprises. Vanara complained to Parliament’s ethics committee that Bongo had approached him on October 10 and offered him a blank cheque to make the parliamentary probe go away.
In a statement, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) detailed the allegations against the former minister, “Bongo who was the minister of state security at the time he allegedly approached an advocate within the commission who was an evidence leader to take sick leave on the day of the commencement of the commission with a view to derail the proceedings. The advocate was offered an open cheque bribe and he consequently alerted his seniors, which culminated in the Hawks investigation.”
He is out on bail.