Former chief operations officer of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi took the stand and testified in the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown, Gauteng. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Former Bosasa operations boss Angelo Agrizzi is likely to take a breather this weekend after giving explosive evidence before the Zondo commission.

It is understood Agrizzi will be guarded by security personnel provided by the commission following fears his life may be under threat.

On Friday Agrizzi continued with more shocking revelations about his former workplace and how it solicited bribes, bankrolled the ANC’s election campaign and went as far as settling SABC executive-turned-politician Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s legal bill.

In his third day at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Agrizzi detailed how the company had used the deaths of its employees and their relatives to ensure it had enough money to bribe senior government and state-owned entities officials to ensure it got business.

Bosasa signed up its employees with the Metropolitan Death Benefit Fund and had another provision to assist them and their relatives in the event of death. It would claim the benefits and make a double contribution to funeral expenses in its books.

In reality, it pocketed the payment from Metropolitan, which was often delayed due to the time it takes for the Department of Home Affairs to produce a death certificate.

Agrizzi testified that Bosasa pocketed up to R300 000 a month, which was used to raise cash, pay bribes and for corruption.

“Employees didn’t know about the death-benefit scheme,” he told the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

He said Bosasa, now know as African Global Operations, had diluted its income and defrauded Sars.

Agrizzi said he was willing to co-operate with any follow-up investigation that may be pursued after his testimony at the commission.

He said Bosasa had paid R1.8 million to the ANC’s election campaign five years ago through the social development MEC in the North West at the time.

Agrizzi said he did not recall the name of the female MEC but was certain his former colleague at Bosasa, its executive Syvion Dlamini, would remember her.

He further testified about a transaction in which the North West provincial government paid Bosasa for non-existent services and a portion of the R3.4m was paid to the ANC.

Agrizzi asserted that Bosasa generated up to R400 000 a month from the Lindela Repatriation Centre, west of Johannesburg, by running a canteen and operating pay-as-you-go public phones at the facility for foreign nationals waiting to be deported.

The company also used its lucrative contracts to provide cash bars and canteens in mines to generate cash as well as paying ghost casual workers.

Agrizzi said he had become concerned about the practice because it had been risky and eventually asked that it be stopped.

He confirmed some of the contents of an affidavit of former Bosasa auditor and tax consultant Peet Viljoen, who last year lifted the lid on the R500 000 payment made to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son Andile Ramaphosa.

But Agrizzi said he was not sure whether the payment of the money to Ramaphosa junior was true or not, but Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson had showed him proof of transfer of the payment to the Andile Ramaphosa Foundation.

Ramaphosa has since stated that the payment was a contribution by Watson to Ramphosa’s campaign to become ANC leader in December 2017.

Agrizzi said Bosasa paid Motsoeneng almost R1.2m to settle his legal bill in August 2017.

Viljoen’s affidavit states that Walter Jele from the law firm Zola Majavu Attorneys, which represented Motsoeneng, sent an invoice for over R1.18m and the bill was settled in August 2017.

Cosatu affiliate, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union, demanded that all business dealings between the Department of Correctional Services and Bosasa be cancelled, including its subsidiaries as they have not added any value but corrupted individual decision makers and compromised service delivery.

Meanwhile, Judge Zondo will on Tuesday detail who he will appoint as the acting secretary of the commission. Incumbent Dr Khotso de Wee took special leave on Friday after Agrizzi told the commission De Wee had received money from Bosasa during his time as justice and constitutional development chief operations officer.

The bribe was allegedly in relation to a contract in 2013 to provide a security system for courts.

Political Bureau