Former Minister of State Security and African National Congress MP Bongani Bongo and his brother Sipho have been granted a R10 000 bail by the Nelspruit Magistrate’s court in Mpumalanga.
They are facing charges of fraud and corruption together with 14 co-accused.
The court says the Bongo brothers are facing Schedule 1 offences. The others are facing Schedule 5 offences and are yet to apply for bail.
But the state says it will not oppose bail. It is alleged that they colluded and bought farms for the government at inflated prices, which led to the Department of Human Settlement loosing R124 million in 2011.
Their case has been postponed to 4th of March 2021.
Bongo is currently an ANC MP and Chairperson of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee. He has been asked to consider stepping aside from his duties while the matter is ongoing in accordance the ANC’s commitment to fighting corruption.
However, addressing the media outside the court, Bongo said he has engaged with the ANC leadership on this matter.
“If you are charged you must step aside. If you are convicted you must step down. I have spoken to the leadership about that matter and I said I want to know the legal basis of stepping aside and what does it mean in practical terms, particularly in parliament. You can’t put a leave between now and next year March and what does it mean? The consitution of the republic, section 35, says everyone who is charged is innocent until proven guilty. So, that is the matter the officials are processsing in terms of getting legal advice.”