12/11/2017 09:15 SAST | Updated 12/11/2017 09:49 SAST

New Security Minister Embroiled In Massive Kickback Scandal

Newly-appointed State Security Minister Bongani Bongo is facing damning allegations he used state money to build his house.

Newly-appointed State Security Minister Bongani Bongo is facing damning allegations he used state funds to build a private home.

Bongo, who recently replaced David Mahlobo as security minister in the most recent cabinet reshuffle, is embroiled in a kickback scandal in which he is alleged to have received R1.5 million to build a home in Nelspruit using funds from Mpumalanga's department of human settlements, according to The Sunday Times.

A forensic audit commissioned by a Special Investigating Unit team claims Bongo received this portion of cash from conveyancers out of a R37.5 million land deal package funded by the department in 2011 at the time he was its head of legal services, The Sunday Times reported.

The publication reported that the conveyancers in the land deal paid R1.5 million into the account of a company belonging to Bongo's wife, making available funds allegedly used to construct the Nelspruit house.

The Sunday Times last week reported Bongo was under investigation for purchasing a BMWX5 with a R300,000 payment made by the same conveyancer, Singwane and Partners, on behalf of another company called Little River Trading.

This company reportedly paid another R300,00 for another vehicle used by Bongo a month before the BMW was purchased. The company is reported to have received R22.5 million out of the R37.5 million allocated for the province's land project.

The audit report reportedly contains other damning allegations against Bongo including committing fraud over travel allowances.

According to The Sunday Times, one source close to the investigation said warrants of arrest had been issued for Bongo, among others including the other two directors of Little River Trading, while another said that Hawks investigators "are sitting on those warrants for unknown reasons".

Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi last week told the newspaper that Bongo was under investigation by their officers.

Mpumpalanga department spokesperson, Freddy Ngobe, told the publication the only vehicle on the department's system for Bongo was the vehicle the audit report said he had sold. Ngobe commented after Bongo's current spokesperson, Brian Dube, had referred questions to Bongo's former employer, the department of human settlements in Mpumalanga.

Read the full story in The Sunday Times.