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Corruption accused ANC MP Bongani Bongo to face Parly’s ethics committee

The former state security minister was arrested by the Hawks before he appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court. He was released on R5,000 bail.

FILE: Home Affairs committee chairperson Bongani Bongo. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN – African National Congress (ANC) MP Bongani Bongo, who was arrested on corruption charges on Thursday, is set to face Parliament’s ethics committee.

The former state security minister was arrested by the Hawks before he appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court. He was released on R5,000 bail.

Bongo allegedly offered a bribe to the evidence leader of Parliament's inquiry into the capture of Eskom and other state entities in October 2017.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said Parliament's ethics committee was only inducted two weeks ago but would be seized with the Bongo matter at the soonest possible time.

Bongo currently served as the chairperson of the National Assembly’s home affairs portfolio committee.

“There is a case that Mr Bongo is facing with the ethics committee. Mr Bongo was phoned by the committee to come and appear before it,” Majodina said.

Majodina said the ANC's Luthuli House would also have to reconsider Bongo’s deployment.

“The ANC makes deployments on their members, but now that we have such a case. Maybe the ANC needs to reconsider the deployment,” she said.

At the same time, DA leader John Steenhuisen has welcomed the arrest of serving Bongo.

Addressing Parliament's Press Gallery Association on Thursday afternoon, Steenhuisen said the Hawk's action against Bongo proved that while the wheels of justice turn slowly, they do move.

Bongo allegedly offered a bribe to the evidence leader of Parliament's inquiry into the capture of Eskom and other state entities in October 2017.

Steenhuisen laid a complaint with police against him soon afterwards.

He said he was questioned about the usefulness of launching a criminal case against Bongo.

“I remember many people asking us well what’s the point, all you guys do is lay charges, nothing ever happens. I think what this proves today is that you’ve got to do those hard yards if you want to defend and protect democracy and you’ve got to use the mechanisms of the state that are provided.”

Steenhuisen said cases of misconduct against MPs allowed to slide during the 5th Parliament should be revived and said Parliament’s ethics watchdog should be strengthened and enabled to act swiftly against sitting MPs with outstanding cases against them.

“We can’t hold government departments and ministers accountable for their behaviour when we as Parliament aren’t prepared to hold ourselves as MPs and the institution accountable as well.”

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