Minister Michael Masutha. File picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA).

Pretoria - The Correctional Services Department is reviewing its contracts with controversial facilities management company Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, minister Michael Masutha confirmed on Friday.

Masutha made this announcement at a media briefing, welcoming new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Advocate Shamila Batohi. 

The review comes as Masutha said he had expressed concerns since he took office over various aspects of the contractual agreements the department had with the company.

"One of the questions I repeatedly asked the management of correctional services was how did we end up being in a situation where we have had to use virements year in, year out to fund these outsourced services because clearly, it seemed to me that funds had had to be diverted.

"I've also asked how did we end up in a situation where so many years down the line, we have not been able to develop our own in-house capacity to provide catering for our inmates in the big centres where Bosasa has been providing the service."

Masutha confirmed that after raising these issues and some of the testimony revealed at the Zondo Commission of inquiry into state capture, the commissioner confirmed that they were "working on reviewing the whole arrangement". 

"I look forward to a report soon from him as to the prospects of us extricating ourselves from this," he told reporters. 

Masutha's announcement comes in the wake of damning testimony revealed by former Bosasa employees on the company's corrupt relationship with department officials, government ministers as well as ANC leaders. 

The most explosive testimony came from Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, who told the commission that Bosasa spent between R4 million and R6 million on bribes per month.

Agrizzi also revealed that Bosasa manipulated tender processes at the department to suit its needs and that the company would sometimes be awarded contracts without following due process.

Agrizzi said the root of tender manipulation at the department went back to 2004 when Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson roped in the department's chief financial officer, Patrick Gillingham, and bribed him to give Bosasa, now trading as African Global Operations, a lucrative catering tender in prisons. 

He went on to name officials who had received bribes from the company, explaining that bribes increased from R500 000 to R750 000 when Tom Moyane took over as commissioner. 

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