Former state security minister and ANC NEC member Bongani Bongo has been released on R5000 bail after being arrested on corruption charges this morning.
Bongo, who was one of former president Jacob Zuma’s staunch allies and shock Cabinet appointments, made a brief appearance in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court.
Bongo’s bail conditions state that he is strictly forbidden from contacting state witnesses in the matter and that he get prior permission from the investigating officer before leaving the country.
The matter is also set to be referred to the high court.
Bongo will make his next appearance on January 31 2020.
The ANC’s chief whip Pemmy Majodina issued a statement after the meeting of its parliamentary caucus this morning.
The ANC went to bat for Bongo earlier this year after backlash for returning him to Parliament and also appointing him as chairperson of the portfolio committee on Home Affairs.
Parliament’s ethics committee is yet to conclude an investigation into an allegation that Bongo attempted to bribe the evidence leader of Parliament’s inquiry into Eskom, Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, with a blank cheque in a bid to detail the inquiry.
Bongo has never confirmed or denied the allegations, and his bid to stop a parliamentary committee to conduct an investigation into his conduct failed when his application was dismissed in the Cape Town High Court in June.
City Press has also previously reported on an investigation by the Hawks into allegations of corruption against Bongo related to land transactions during his time as a legal advisor in the office of the MEC of human settlements in Mpumalanga. This was during the tenure of then police minister Fikile Mbalula.
At the time of his appointment as minister, Bongo was virtually unknown. He became an MP directly after his post at the provincial human settlements department.