Bongo, co-accused used intricate web to loot Mpumalanga dept, court hears

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They face 69 counts of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering, and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

FILE: ANC MP Bongani Bongo. Picture: parliament.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG – Papers filed in the Nelspruit Magistrates Court showed an intricate web that 15 suspects and companies used to loot money from the Mpumalanga Human Settlements Department.

African National Congress (ANC) MP Bongani Bongo is among 11 individuals and four companies that were granted R10,000 bail each on Wednesday.

They face 69 counts of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering, and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

In one transaction, the provincial Human Settlements Department paid R37.5 million for a Naauwpoort farm, but its owner was paid R15 million.

Some of the accused took ownership of the land through Singwane Attorneys, escalated the price and sold the land to the department and shared the money.

In another transaction, Bongiveli bought land that was valued at R1.6 million from Fremax Farms, the department paid R10.5 million, and some of the accused walked away with R4.5 million.

However, all the land that was bought fell out of the spatial development plan and could not be used to build residential housing, which was the mandate of the Human Settlements Department.

The State alleged that some of the accused received kickbacks of cash and cars from some of the companies involved in the transactions.

They’re expected back in court in March next year.

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