JOHANNESBURG - Angelo Agrizzi, the former marketing co-coordinator of Bosasa Facilities Management, on Wednesday spilled the beans about the inner workings and political links of the controversial consultancy company, also saying that at times he felt like he was in a cult-like organisation during his 17-year long service with the firm.
Resuming for day 33 in Johannesburg, the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State capture heard that Agrizzi had been working as a "right-hand man" for Bosasa's controversial chief executive, Gavin Watson, after joining Bosasa in 1999 while it was still Dyambu Holdings.
Watson allegedly has close ties to officials within the African National Congress (ANC) through his family's anti-apartheid struggle credentials and his brother's post-1994 business interests. Agrizzi claimed Watson had used his political ties to win a lucrative catering contract for his company at Gold Fields in a shady manner.
Agrizzi said that Watson had first offered him a lucrative job on the spot with attractive perks after meeting him for the first time, and he immediately resigned from Dyambu's competitor, Molope Foods.
At the time, Agrizzi said he was busy finalising a contract between Molope, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Gold Fields for the provision of catering services at the mine's hostels. He went on to join Dyambu and helped Dyambu to steal the contract he was negotiating for Molope by persuading Gold Fields management to sign the contact with Dyambu.
Agrizzi said he had a very close relationship with Watson as he trusted him with highly confidential information, and that Watson had told him that he helped union leaders, whom he called "comrades", at various mines with funerals expenses. Agrizzi said he would later learn that people were paid to support Dyambu effort's to win tenders.
He claimed that he was present in meetings at Dyambu's offices where Watson allegedly paid money to the late Jackson Mafika at Kloof gold mine to secure support for the company.
Agrizzi claimed that the cash was delivered and typically handed over in grey cash bags, but conceded to deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he did not see the money itself.
Mafika was ANC chief whip at the Westonaria Municipality and the head of NUM in the area.
He said Dyambu was then renamed Bosasa after the it had acquired the catering tender at Kloof gold mine. Bosasa has since morphed into African Global Operations. Agrizzi resigned from Bosasa in 2016.
Sometimes at pains to explain some of the shenanigans, Agrizzi also revealed that his salary at Dyambu was split into two between him and his wife for the benefit of reducing his tax bracket even though his wife was not employed by Dyambu. Agrizzi's wife was his personal assistant when he was with Molope.
Agrizzi said he had not reported any matters in his statement under the Prevention of Organized Crime Act.
Evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius said all the implicated parties will be be informed and given all the relevant materials as the testimony of Agrizzi had to be dealt with with caution. The inquiry had adjourned for lunch.
African News Agency (ANA)