Mosebenzi Zwane: Bongani Bongo won’t get fair trial

Mosebenzi Zwane: Bongani Bongo won't get fair trial
UNDER SIEGE: Former intelligence minister Bongani Bongo who is in the Western Cape High Court for alleged bribery. PICTURE BY City Press

He says signs of issues of political meddling in the case have started to show.

Former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane has said recent remarks made by justice minister Ronald Lamola are proof ANC MP Bongani Bongo is not going to have a fair trial at the Western Cape High Court where he is facing the NPA over allegations of bribery.

Zwane said the reference to RET forces as “thieves”  by Lamola last week Sunday 16 February 2020 was proof that state organs were being used to fight political battles.

Lamola had said that the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) group was a group of “thieves”. “These thieves that have stolen money now they want to claim that they are RET,” Lamola said.

Zwane said it was worrying that a justice minister would say that.

“It’s unfortunate because the person who gave that statement is the person to whom we must look up for the fair treatment of any citizen in the country,” said Zwane outside the Western Cape High Court where he was supporting Bongo Friday 21 February 2020.

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“If their view is that anybody that believes in RET is a thug then it sends a wrong message altogether,” Zwane said.

Mosebenzi Zwane: Bongani Bongo won't get fair trial
Mosebenzi Zwane

He said that they are aware of an agenda to “eliminate” them from ANC structures.

Bongo chairs a Parliamentary committee on home affairs while Zwane chairs one on transport.

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Last weekend 16 February 2020, the Sunday Independent reported that Bongo, deputy president DD Mabuza, national secretary Ace Magashule, North West ANC leader Supra Mahumapelo and water affairs minister Lindiwe Sisulu were among 11 senior ANC leaders who are allegedly the targets of politically motivated criminal investigations by state organs – as they are seen as a threat to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Bongo’s case was postponed to April 2020. The NPA expects the trial in August 2020, to take a full month.

A lawyer from Mpumalanga’s area of Siyabuswa, the ANC politician and ex-spy minister was arrested by the Hawks on 31 January 2020 and released on the same day on R5000 bail.

The state alleges that in October 2017 Bongo offered to bribe Ntuthuzelo Vanara to stop an inquiry into the capture of Eskom by the Gupta family. Vanara was evidence leader for the Parliamentary inquiry.

The accused offered Vanara an “unlawful gratification in the form of a monetary benefit, requesting him to decide on the exact amount required,” the charge sheet reads.

Zwane said they will always be there for Bongo as he was innocent until proven guilty.

“His integrity and credibility must be respected,” Zwane said.

(edited by ZK)

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