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Angelo Agrizzi's former assistant confirms Mokonyane and PA's Bosasa-sponsored gifts

Gina Pieters. Screengrab: SABC/YouTube

Gina Pieters. Screengrab: SABC/YouTube

Published Sep 2, 2020

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Johannesburg – The former assistant to Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi has corroborated his evidence at the Zondo commission confirming Nomvula Mokonyane and her assistant received yearly birthday gift hampers purchased by Bosasa.

Gina Pieters took the stand on Wednesday. She was called to confirm aspects of Agrizzi's evidence which he provided when he appeared last year.

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Agrizzi had testified that Mokonyane had received gifts from Bosasa because of her role in the ANC and her close relationship with now deceased Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson.

On Monday, the inquiry heard evidence from Mokonyane's assistant Sandy Thomas who denied she had received gift hampers from Bosasa. She admitted that sometimes Watson would enquire about Mokonyane's birthday and what gifts she would like. Thomas said she knew Watson was a family friend to Mokonyane.

Thomas was questioned at the inquiry about gift hampers she had received from Bosasa. She denied Bosasa had delivered gift hampers to her.

Pieters's evidence contradicts Thomas's version.

Pieters said she was instructed by Agrizzi to send various gift hampers to Mokonyane and her assistant, specifically for their birthdays. She could not provide the exact dates when the requests were made, but she said it was from 2010 onwards.

She said the requests became so frequent she diarised the birthdays so she would not forget the details.

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Pieters said the hampers were valued at R1 000 and she had requested Bosasa's procurement department to ensure they were made and delivered.

"At some point in my tenure, I was requested to send hampers to Miss Nomvula Mokonyane and her PA Miss Sandy Thomas. I can however not recall the exact dates but it was from 2010.

"I had to ask Miss Sandy Thomas about her address. I can recall that she did not want me to send it to her work address and she gave me her home address. That was one occasion. A year later I was asked to send hampers again and I saved the details on my phone with the address and telephone number, as it became a regular occurrence," Pieters said.

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Pieters said Agrizzi was adamant the hampers should never mention Bosasa.

An email read: "I had ordered the hampers late on this occasion. The email was from me to our procurement head where I asked them to assist with hampers one addressed to Miss Nomvula Mokonyane and the other to Miss Sandy Thomas. What was stated on the cards; for Miss Nomvula 'happy birthday may the Lord bless you always regards Gavin' and the one to SandyThomas was 'happy belated birthday, may the Lord bless you always regards Angelo'," she said.

On Thomas's denials about receiving a gift hamper sent to her home address, Pieters said she was never notified that the delivery company was unable to deliver the package.

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Mokonyane is expected to return to the witness stand on Thursday following her appearance in August.

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