Agrizzi's #StateCaptureInquiry bombshells show extent of Bosasa's corruption
Johannesburg - Bosasa kept dishing out bribes to senior government officials long after they had left the public service, the company’s former chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi testified on Tuesday at the state capture inquiry.
Agrizzi told the commission headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that former correctional services national commissioner Linda Mti was paid R65 000 a month by Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson for the duration of the lucrative contracts with the department.
According to Agrizzi, Bosasa increased payments to Mti after he left the department and by December 2016 when he left the company the former head of security for the 2010 World Cup was still receiving payments from the company.
He said Watson had told him that the “fat man (Mti) delivers on his promises” and hence he needed to be kept on Bosasa’s payroll.
Mti stopped working at the Correctional Services Department in 2007.
”As long as the contract lasted he would be paid, that was the agreement.
“That’s why until today they are still being looked after,” Agrizzi testified.
He said Watson also helped Mti establish his own company, Lianorah Investments, which was named after his mother.
Bosasa also paid for, furnished and decorated the house in which Mti lived at Savannah Hills.
Agrizzi said Riaan Hoeksma’s Riekele Construction not only built Mti’s house but also that of former correctional services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham.
Bosasa covered the costs for both houses. Mti also had another house also in Savannah Hills which was renovated and furnished by Bosasa.
Agrizzi also testified that he had helped Mti draw up the security proposal for the 2010 World Cup and paid for holiday trips and travelling for his family.
Bosasa also paid for the studies of two of Mti’s children from a previous marriage and provided a security guard for his house.
Gillingham received a Mercedes-Benz E-class and a VW Polo for his daughter Megan Gillingham.
So daring and brazen were some of the methods used by Bosasa that Agrizzi admitted to using the name of his late father-in-law JJ Venter to create a fictitious account to pay for flights for Mti’s family.
He even asked his brother Claudio Agrizzi to raise money to quash the drunken driving charge against Mti by bribing a court official. However, Agrizzi’s brother became uncomfortable and terminated the arrangement.
The commission also heard how Bosasa spied on senior correctional services officials.
”I was asked to do a spying exercise on them. Everyone who was problematic towards Bosasa would be spied on,” Agrizzi said, adding that he hired the company that did the spying exercise.
Agrizzi also implicated another Cosatu affiliate at the commission, stating that a Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union Popcru Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (official, known only as “Sbu ”, was part of a group that was paid a R1 million a month bribe to influence former correctional services national commissioner Vernie Petersen to co-operate with Bosasa.
In 2007, when Petersen was appointed to the position Agrizzi attempted to communicate with him about possible future ventures but Petersen did not want anything to do with Bosasa group.
He said the payment to Popcru general secretary “Sbu”, former national commissioner Khulekani Sithole and the department’s KwaZulu-Natal regional commissioner Mnikelwa Nxele was later reduced R700 000 a month after Bosasa subsidiary Sondolo IT lost the staffing contract in the control rooms at prisons.
Agrizzi explained that the Popcru official was roped-in so Petersen would be made to feel the wrath of the union.