The Hawks have fingered ANC MP Bongani Bongo and 10 others in alleged fraud and corruption amounting to almost R124 million.

CHARLES MOLELE

ANC MP Bongani Bongo was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, together with 10 others.

Bongo and co-accused are facing charges including fraud, corruption and theft related to ‘dubious’ land deals amounting to almost R124 million.

The former State Security minister and his co-accused are expected to appear in the Nelspruit regional magistrate’s court in Mpumalanga on Wednesday. 

The arrests form part of a multi-agency investigation including the Specialised Investigating Unit (SIU) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). 

Hawks spokesperson Philani Nkwalase confirmed the arrests on Tuesday. 

“It is alleged that during February 2012 a complaint was made about the Msukaligwa Municipality that allegedly bought a Rietspruit farm in Ermelo worth R11 million yet sold for about R36.4 million in 2011, to develop a township whilst the municipality owned a farm that could have been utilised for the same purpose,” said Nkwalase. 

“Another whistle blower alerted the investigators to two other deals involving two farms, a 70-hectare Malelane farm worth R44 million that was allegedly sold to the municipality at R50 million in 2011 and a 74.2 hectare Naauwpoort in Emalahleni worth R16 million apparently sold for R37.5 million.”

Nkwalase added: “All these three farms actual combined value was approximately R70 million but through alleged collusion by the arrested suspects the Mpumalanga of Human Settlements Department suffered a total loss of just under R124.million.” 

Bongo’s latest arrest comes after he was accused in 2017 of trying to bribe the former parliamentary head of legal services, advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara.

Vanara claimed that Bongo bribed him with a blank cheque to ensure that he was not implicated in an investigation into the mismanagement of the national power utility, Eskom.  

Vanara was overseeing the committee responsible for investigating the capture of Eskom by the Gupta family.

The incident happened while Bongo was still the state security minister. 

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