Court to hear if former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi is medically fit for trial
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Johannesburg - Lawyers for former Bosasa chief operations officer, Angelo Agrizzi, are expected to inform the Pretoria Special Commercial Crimes Court on Friday if their client is medically fit to stand trial.
This follows Agrizzi’s failure to appear in court on three occasions since February this year due to ill-health.
Agrizzi took ill in October last year while appearing in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, in Joburg east, on unrelated charges of fraud and corruption.
He stands accused along with former ANC MP Vincent Smith.
Due to his ill-health, the state was forced to separate their trials.
Smith is now expected to appear alone on September 28.
In Pretoria, Agrizzi was due to appear alongside former correctional services commissioner, Linda Mti, former correctional services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham and former Bosasa group chief financial officer Andries van Tonder for their alleged role in the illegal awarding of massive tenders worth R1.8 billion to the controversial Bosasa company then under ownership of the late Gavin Watson.
While Mti, Gillinghman and Van Tonder physically appeared in court on June 24, Agrizzi was appearing before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture via a video link on the same day where he was cross-examined by the lawyers of businessman Kevin Wakeford whom he accused of having had a hand in Bosasa acquiring illegal government contracts.
However Wakeford denied the claims before the commission.
Due to those developments, the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court made an order that all the accused should physically appear before it today to determine a trial date.
In February, all the accused were handed full indictments of the charges against each of them. The State also singled out Mti as the central figure in the illegal awarding of massive tenders to Bosasa.
In the indictment, the state alleges Mti was appointed as the national commissioner for the Department of Correctional Services as from 1 September 2001 for a period of three years.
In July 2004, his term of office was extended for a further period of three years.
Mti was, by virtue of his position, the accounting officer of the department as envisaged by Section 36 of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999.
As the accounting officer of the department, Mti held the responsibility for the financial and functional approval and awarding of tenders issued by the department.
He resigned from the department on 30 November 2006 to become the chief security officer for the 2010 Soccer World Cup Tournament.
The State, however, argues that the four tenders forming the subject of the criminal charges were awarded to Bosasa, Sondolo IT, and Phezulu Fencing during the period when Mti was the commissioner and accounting officer of the department.
As a result of the combined charges Mti is the only accused who was charged with five counts of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
Mti also faces one count of corruption.
He also stands accused along with Gillingham and Agrizzi on four counts of fraud each.
Gillingham was also charged with corruption. He also faces five counts of money laundering along with Agrizzi and Van Tonder.
The matter relates to four tenders awarded to Bosasa and its subsidiaries valued at over R1.8 billion between the periods August 2004 to 2007.