Former Basasa Boss Angelo Agrizzi returns to the stand at the state capture inquiry. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA).
Former Basasa Boss Angelo Agrizzi returns to the stand at the state capture inquiry. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA).

Correctional services contracts were designed to favour Bosasa, inquiry hears

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jan 23, 2019

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Johannesburg - Bosasa received preferential treatment which ensured it was awarded tenders issued by the department of correctional services, the Zondo commission heard on Wednesday. 

Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi confirmed the findings of a decade-old investigation conducted by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the corrupt dealings between the department and the facilities management company. 

The SIU investigation found that there were various instances created by correctional services with the assistance of then correctional service CFO Patrick Gillingham that favoured Bosasa and its subsidiaries, including Sondolo IT. 

There was a kitchen tender, an access control tender and the fencing tender which were awarded to Bosasa. 

In one instance bidders competing for a fencing tender were not allowed to visit the correctional facilities to measure the area to assist them in their tender application. 

However, Bosasa was allowed to visit the facilities and do all the assessment necessary for their bid which allowed them an unfair advantage. 

Advocate Paul Pretorius, for the commission, said an amount of over R400 million was already paid to Bosasa subsidiary Phezulu even before the fencing work was done. 

All of the tenders awarded to Bosasa followed the same pattern; that of Bosasa's involvement in the tender specifications with the assistance of Gillingham.

Following this aspect, the tender bidding process would be opened for a short space of time and then would be closed and awarded to Bosasa. 

Gillingham would then receive payments following the awarding of the tenders to Bosasa. 

Agrizzi spent the large part of his appearance at the inquiry on Wednesday confirming the aspects of the SIU report which was concluded in 2009. No criminal charges have been laid against those involved in corruption. 

Agrizzi also confirmed that a VW Polo was purchased by Gillingham and was paid for by Bosasa, this was also mentioned in the SIU report. 

He had previously testified that the vehicle along with a Mercedes Benz was purchased for Gillingham's child. 

He also confirmed the purchase of another that was paid for by Bosasa for Gillingham.  

Bosasa also paid for the purchase of expensive furniture for Gillingham and the payment for expensive trips. 

The inquiry continues on Thursday.

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