Some charges against former state security minister dropped

The disappearance of a crucial state witness has seen some charges relating to an alleged R37.5m land deal being withdrawn.

Charges of corruption and money laundering against former minister of state security Bongani Bongo have been dropped after a state witness disappeared.

Bongo appeared in the Nelspruit Commercial Crime Court in Mpumalanga yesterday along with 11 co-accused.

State prosecutor Advocate Henry Nxumalo told the court the witness could not be found anywhere, and as they cannot continue with the case without him, the charges should be withdrawn. The presiding magistrate, Deon van Rooyen, agreed.

However, the former minister would be returning to court again today, June 20, facing charges of failing to deal with criminal activities when he was the director of the Department of Human Settlement’s legal services.

Bongo’s and his 11 co-accused were arrested by the Hawks and are facing 69 charges of fraud, corruption, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act for alleged involvement in questionable land deals.

Bongo was arrested along with Robert Burwise, Patrick Donald Chirwa, Harrington Sizwakhendaba Dhlamini, Blessing Mduduzi Singwane, David Boy Dube, Sipho Joel Bongo, Vusi Willem Magagula, Bongani Louis Henry Sibiya, Elmon Lawrence Mdaka, Sibongile Mercy Mdaka and Sandile Nkosi in connection with an alleged land deal of R37.5m dating back to 2011. They are all out on bail of R10 000 each.

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