ANC MP and former state security minister Bongani Bongo on Thursday said he was not corrupt and would never be corrupt, despite facing graft claims linked to dubious land deals in Mpumalanga amounting to almost R124 million.
Bongo and his co-accused appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court facing charges of corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering.
The case dates back to the time when he was an official in the Mpumalanga provincial government.
Bongo, speaking outside the court following the postponement of the case to early May, claimed the case was politically motivated and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was abusing his rights and that of his 11 co-accused.
“The surprise is that these things happened 11 years ago and the state has been busy investigating and not finishing their investigations. It’s cause for concern and I think it’s bordering on abusing our rights because when we were supposed to come here and start the trial, they’re deciding to waste our time by calling us again on 4 May. But we are going to comply because we respect the rule of law,” Bongo told eNCA in an interview.
“These charges are purely politically motivated and I’m sure even a child on the street can now see this is just politically motivated.”
Asked about who he thought was behind the charges against him, Bongo said “dark forces and antagonistic forces” were behind the corruption cases.
“It’s for a simple reason because I was given the responsibility of national security of this country. And they think the sensitive information that we were exposed to may be used against them.
“So, they want to paint a picture to the nation that we are corrupting and bribing and they’re trying everything in the book. We are chasing a moving target but we shall overcome. I’m not corrupt and I will never be corrupt. I’m just myself as you see me,” Bongo said.
Last week, Bongo was cleared of corruption charges after Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe granted his discharge application.
The matter related to allegations Bongo had attempted to bribe advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the evidence leader for Parliament’s Eskom inquiry.
He said even in that case, his rights were abused by the prosecution but he nonetheless compiled with the court.
“In Cape Town, it dragged on for three years, I complied for three years and the judge dismissed the case… and the dark forces are also up saying it’s not right. So, you can see that they just want to find us guilty at all costs and they want to abuse us,” he said.
The case was postponed to 4 May 2021 after the state said it needed more time to analyse and finalise the docket.