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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Case against Bongani Bongo postponed to next month

Bongo and his co-accused want their case struck off the roll.

The Nelspruit Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Mbombela has postponed the case against former state security minister Bongani Bongo to 2 May.

According to Newzroom Afrika, Bongo was a no-show at court on Wednesday morning, along with his co-accused and a warrant of arrest has since been issued.

Reportedly, the magistrate wrote an email to the legal representatives of the accused stating that he would not be able to deliver the judgment today. This possibly led to a misunderstanding, resulting in the accused not being present in court.

Bongo and 11 other people, including four companies, are facing 69 charges related to fraud, theft, corruption and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act in connection with a R74 million land deal by the Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlements (DoHS) in 2011.

The state has alleged that the accused conspired to inflate the prices of two farms that were purchased on behalf of the department.

The former farm owners allegedly only received a portion of the funds paid by the state, with the remainder being pocketed by the accused.

ALSO READ: ANC axes fraud-accused Bongani Bongo as committee chair on home affairs

Bongo was the department’s legal advisor at the time of the deal. He was part of a committee appointed by the then-head of the department to negotiate the purchase of the farms.

He is said to have recommended the appointment of Singwane Attorneys as conveyancers for the department during the purchase of the two farms.

Singwane Attorneys allegedly paid Bongo R1 million through his wife’s business account and made deposits for two vehicles registered under his brother’s name, Sipho Bongo.

The ANC MP was arrested in 2020 and released on bail of R10 000.

Bongo and his co-accused are now seeking to have their case struck off the roll, and have argued that the state’s case against them is weak.

ALSO READ: ANC MP Bongani Bongo’s fraud, corruption trial set to begin

The magistrate was expected to hand down judgment in the matter today.

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