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Agrizzi concludes testimony, van Tonder to take stand at Zondo commission

Published Jan 29, 2019


Johannesburg - Angelo Agrizzi wrapped-up his testimony at the Zondo commission on Tuesday bringing an end to 10-days of widespread revelations into allegations of corruption at facilities management company Bosasa. 

Agrizzi told deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo that he was willing to cooperate with law enforcement agencies including SARS and the inquiry in an effort to get to the bottom of state capture. 

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On his last day, he told the inquiry about threats to his life and how he was almost at the cusp of signing a deal with Watsons which could have seen him keep silent about the corruption at Bosasa. He said he was offered an R5 million payment every year for five years in an effort to buy his silence. Agrizzi said he rejected the offer because he wanted to "come clean". 

He submitted emails and text messages in an effort to prove that he was being offered a bribe to remain silent. 

In a shocking move, he also admitted that he was a racist after an audio clip was played at the commission. In the clip, Agrizzi is heard saying the K-word numerous times while laughing. He said the clip was recorded and made public in an effort to discredit him and his efforts to expose corruption at Bosasa. 

In the first couple of days of his testimony, Agrizzi shared details about the corrupt relationships Bosasa had with a number of government officials. He told the inquiry how Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson ran a company that would bribe its way into obtaining lucrative government contracts with the department of correctional services and the justice department. 

Government officials that allegedly received bribes included former prisons boss Linda Mti and former correctional services CFO Patrick Gillingham. The two former officials had their lavish lifestyles funded by Bosasa, the commission heard. 

Former president Jacob Zuma received R300 000 from Watson for his foundation. Agrizzi told the commission that former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni shared confidential NPA documents, related to an investigation into Bosasa, with him and Watson. 

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Suspended NPA officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence, who are both facing an inquiry into their fitness, were allegedly also bribed by Bosasa to ensure that the investigation into Bosasa was quashed. 

Over the next couple of days, the commission is expected to hear testimony from witnesses who could possibly corroborate the evidence submitted by Agrizzi. 

Andries van Tonder, who served as a chief financial officer at Bosasa, took the stand late on Tuesday afternoon. He told the inquiry that he started working at Bosasa in 1996. He gave Zondo a glimpse into Watson's character as the head of Bosasa. 

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Van Tonder said he and Watson had a good relationship at the beginning and that he made him feel "important". But things turned sour between the two when van Tonder stopped attending Watson's daily prayer sessions. 

Van Tonder will continue with his testimony on Wednesday. 


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