ANC MP Bongani Bongo will take a leave of absence from his position in parliament and the ANC national executive committee (NEC) ahead of his corruption trial.
The decision is part of the outcomes of the special ANC NEC meeting to be announced by the party’s top officials on Monday afternoon.
Bongo will follow former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairman Mike Mabuyakhulu, who have stepped aside as they have been charged by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The former state security minister and now chair of the parliamentary committee on home affairs, Bongo is facing a charge of corruption in relation to an allegation that he offered a bribe to Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the evidence leader of the parliamentary inquiry into the capture of Eskom by the Guptas.
In a sworn statement, Vanara said Bongo offered him a “blank cheque” if he would suppress the investigation.
Bongo has denied the allegation and has previously accused public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan of orchestrating the case against him. Before that he had blamed former National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete and then ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu of being behind the allegations, claiming they were jealous of his ministerial appointment.
Bongo declined to comment on Monday, saying doing so would be an act of ill-discipline.
Insiders have confirmed that the NEC decided that all ANC members facing charges of corruption should step aside from state and party positions.
“There was a push for Bongo to resign from parliament. But what if the National Prosecuting Authority drops the charges next month? It means we’ll face a dilemma,” said a leader who attended the NEC meeting.
Insiders said the meeting expressed support for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent letter to ANC members in which he called for tough action against corruption.