Bongo corruption

ANC MP Bongani Bongo. Photo by Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Lindile Mbontsi)

Bongani Bongo: Bail fee, charges and the possibility of jail time

We’ve got the latest developments on the Bongani Bongo case, and things don’t look good for the ANC MP. He could face a lengthy jail sentence, here.

Bongo corruption

ANC MP Bongani Bongo. Photo by Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Lindile Mbontsi)

ANC MP Bongani Bongo has been arrested and processed on Thursday morning, following an operation conducted by the Hawks. The former cabinet minister has appeared briefly in court, before slipping out of the back entrance undetected – something that miffed the assembled media.

Bongo has been granted his temporary freedom, but he must return to the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court next year. Here’s everything you need to know about the case, and why the ANC figure is in seriously hot water.

Bongani Bongo case – what you need to know:

Charges against him

Bongo will face multiple counts of corruption, linked to acts of fraud and bribery. He’s been accused of trying to pay-off a panel member at the Eskom Inquiry into state capture, by convincing him to take a sick day and therefore “derail” the proceedings. Bongani Bongo allegedly offered the advocate an “open chequebook”.

Significance of the arrest

Bongo is the first serving MP to be arrested for crimes apparently linked to state capture. He was previously implicated at the State Capture Inquiry this year. It marks a significant step for the South African judiciary, as their attempts to rid the country of corruption have been accused of going at a “sluggish” pace. Bongani Bongo is the big-name bust that could open the floodgates for other criminal trials.

Bail posted by Bongani Bongo

He’s paid the bail fee, which stands at R5 000. He will be back in court at the end of January 2020. Police and relevant law enforcement teams will spend the next couple of months investigating the defendant and his links to patronage networks. He is currently chairing the portfolio committee on Home Affairs, but his bail conditions ban him from speaking to any witnesses and he must give two weeks’ notice before travelling.

Possibility of jail

The maximum jail sentence for someone found guilty of corruption in South Africa is 15 years. And being a politician doesn’t always help you out of a tricky situation. Both Tony Yengeni and Rubben Mohlaloga are MPs who have spent time in jail for the “travel-gate” saga. There’s also John Block, the corrupt Northern Cape MEC who was given the full 15-year term for grand acts of corruption. The same fate could befall Bongo.