Angelo Agrizzi at the state capture inquiry in Parktown. File picture: Dimpho Maja/ African News Agency(ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - Former Bosasa chief operations officer-cum-whistleblower, Angelo Agrizzi, on Tuesday implicated former national commissioner of correctional services, Linda Mti, as a recipient of a R65 000 monthly payment, among other bribes, in order to facilitate tenders for Bosasa in the prison system.

Mti, who resigned in November 2006, had an investment company registered for him; an R18 million Savannah Hills house bankrolled for him; vehicle services; holidays and travels arranged; and security hired for him by Bosasa in a bid to influence him to extend the company's catering contract that was expiring, Agrizzi said.

In a complex system worked out by Bosasa, Agrizzi said that Mti's Savannah Hills home was built by businessman Riaan Hoeksma's Riekele Construction and that Bosasa made the payments for the construction. 

Agrizzi said the house was then rented to the correctional services department for Mti's occupation while the department paid rent to Autumn Storm Investments 119 who would then give the money back to Mti. 

Agrizzi also reiterated that former correctional services chief financial officer, Patrick Gillingham, was also on a Bosasa retainer of R100,000 a month and that a Mercedes Benz E Class was and a VW Polo were purchased for him and his daughter around 2006 or 2007, respectively.

He said that Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson had instructed him to create fake loan agreements between Bosasa employees and Gillingham in a bid to rationalise the monies Gillingham was receiving.

At one point, things went sour for Gillingham after the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) found a Bosasa laptop with the department's tender specifications on it at his house during a raid. 

Gillingham was suspended and Bosasa paid for his legal fees to fight his suspension, Agrizzi said. 

Agrizzi said Bosasa's front company, Sondolo IT, had won a R200 million TV plan tender from the department of correctional services.

Agrizzi also said Bosasa paid a R1 million bribe monthly to a former Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) secretary-general identified only as "Sbu", former correctional services commissioner, Khulekani Sithole, and former KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Mnikelwa Nxele in order to oil the wheels of a lucrative controls room contract given to Sondolo IT.

He said that the amount was taken down to R700,000 after Sondolo lost one of the staffing of the controls room contract after Xoliswa Sibeko became the department's director-general and wanted nothing to do with Bosasa. Agrizzi continues his testimony. 

African News Agency (ANA)