African National Congress (ANC) MP Bongani Bongo has appeared at the Cape Town magistrate’s court on corruption charges.
The Hawks arrested Bongo, who is a former State Security Minister, on Thursday morning and arraigned him in court soon thereafter.
He is accused of attempting to derail Parliament’s inquiry into state capture at state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
The matter was postponed to 31 January, 2020 and Bongo’s bail was set at R5,000 with the condition that he must not interfere with state witnesses.
Ntuthuzelo Vanara, who was the evidence leader in the parliamentary inquiry, accused Bongo of trying to bribe him in October 2017 to derail the inquiry.
Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ interests subsequently established a sub-committee to probe the allegation.
In June this year, Bongo lost a bid at the Cape Town High Court to stop the resumption of the investigation. His application was dismissed with costs.
He had argued that the sub-committee “had run out of time” and wanted it to stop hearing evidence and produce a report immediately.
Former President Jacob Zuma appointed Bongo as State Security Minister in October 2017, but President Cyril Ramaphosa dropped him in his first Cabinet reshuffle in February 2018.
He is among the so-called “Zuma ministers” who caused a public outcry after being appointed portfolio committee chairpersons in Parliament. He is the chairperson of the portfolio committee on home affairs.
Others are Mosebenzi Zwane, who is the chair of the portfolio committee on transport, and Faith Muthambi, who chairs the portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs.
Both have had numerous allegations levelled against them in relation to state capture, which they have steadfastly denied.
In a recent interview with City Press, Bongo said being labelled “Zuma ministers” was unfair.
“We are not necessarily Zuma ministers; we are members of the ANC and have been elected as such,” he said.