Angelo Agrizzi to appear in court for allegedly bribing Vincent Smith
CAPE TOWN - Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi will make his first court appearance on fraud and corruption charges on Thursday, alongside former ANC MP Vincent Smith who he allegedly corrupted with a string of bribes.
Agrizzi faces a charge of corruption for instructing staff to pay for a R200,000 (US$12,000) electric fence around Smith's home in 2014.
In 2015, according to the indictment, he saw to it that R276,667 was paid to Smith. In 2016, a further sum total of R345,076 allegedly found itself into Smith's bank accounts via Bosasa, paid in three instalments.
The payments were intended "as improper inducements in furtherance of an ongoing scheme to influence" Smith to use his position in Parliament as chairperson of the portfolio committee on correctional service to the advantage of Bosasa, the indictment states.
Agrizzi in sensational testimony before the Zondo commission of inquiry into the state capture scandal not only implicated Smith but also fellow senior ANC MP Cedric Frolick.
Smith faces one charge of corruption and one of fraud. The second charge relates to his legal obligation as a member of Parliament to disclose the payments received from a company that between 2004 and 2006 won contracts with the department of correctional services worth more than R1bn.
The contracts ran until 2019 despite the Special Investigating Unit calling for their cancellation 10 years earlier.
Smith handed himself over to the police in Alberton on October 1.
He was granted bail of R30,000 on the same day in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Agrizzi was meant to appear alongside Smith but pleaded ill health. The NPA confirmed that he would be in court on Wednesday.
Agrizzi worked for Bosasa for 18 years and told the Zondo commission last year that Frolick was paid R40,000 to ease relations with Smith, who initially had doubts about Bosasa and risked blocking its efforts to secure a monopoly on contracts with correctional services.
Frolick in testimony to the commission earlier this month vehemently denied taking kickbacks.