Bosasa employees lived in fear of being 'taken out', #StateCaptureInquiry told
Politics / 17 January 2019, 3:33pm / Siphelele Dludla
JOHANNESBURG - Former Bosasa chief operating officer, Angelo Agrizzi, on Thursday said, that he had arranged for the recording of the video inside Bosasa's secret vault as he needed concrete evidence to expose alleged corruption at the controversial facilities management firm.
Agrizzi showed the Zondo Commission -- probing state capture -- a video in which Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson was counting money allegedly used to pay a bribe to secure tenders at government institutions.
Bosasa has been implicated in corruption allegations, doing favours for, and giving donations to influential politicians in return for lucrative government tenders.
In the six-minute long video, Watson is seen with his former business partner Johannes Gumede and executive director Papa Leshabane counting at least R1 million stacks of R50,000 bundles inside a walk-in vault at Bosasa offices where confidential documents were also stored.
Agrizzi said that even though he had resigned from Bosasa in 2016, he had managed to convince chief financial officer Andries van Tonder to record one of his interactions with Watson where bribery was involved in 2017.
He said that he knew that there was some level of discontent within Bosasa employees as they were allegedly always intimidated by Watson when they started questioning certain practices, with Watson allegedly cutting them off and telling them that they could find work anywhere because they were white males.
"Had I come to the commission without solid evidence, they would have pinned it on me alone [in paying of bribes]. The blame would always be attributed to those who had left the company. When I left I was blamed for a lot of things [including] that I paid people. Gavin Watson would always say he didn't sign anything and you cannot pin anything on him," Agrizzi said.
"I wanted to show the commission and the whole country how easily it is to bribe people. We were told we were white males and that we would not get jobs anywhere. We lived in a dangerous world and if you knew too much, you would get disposed off. I already had it in mind that I wanted to share the video."
To illustrate the extent of danger they were living under, Agrizzi said he was once called into a meeting with controversial policeman, Nkosana "Killer" Ximba, which he thinks was aimed at intimidating him.
Ximba allegedly had links to former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and in 2015, was declared unfit to be a policeman due to his history of torture after he had arrested and interrogated convicted Czech drug dealer, Radovan Krejcir.
"I was called at a meeting at Michelangelo [Hotel in Sandton] once with a gentleman named 'Killer' Ximba, he opened up a bag and showed me a .45 colt with a white handle. If you didn't do what was told to you, you became a problem. You had to leave or salaries were cut," he said.
"I did some disposing myself. There was a dustbin with people's names in it. If you started raising your voice and objected, you would easily be sidelined and they would say you were starting to be a problem."
Earlier in the day, Agrizzi said he was concerned about threats on his life after he spotted an individual he had previously worked with at the venue of the inquiry into state capture where he was testifying.
Former policeman Solomon Segale, whom Agrizzi hired at Bosasa and was subsequently made director, was spotted standing outside the Commission's venue in plainclothes with a group of uniformed policemen. It has been discovered that he slipped in with his old police identity card, and the commission was investigating how he gained access.
Agrizzi has allegedly received death threats since he blew the whistle on corrupt activities at Bosasa and his appearance before the state capture commission presided over by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was kept under wraps until the last minute as a result.