By Carien du Plessis
Fresh allegations about graft related to prisons tenders are due to come under the spotlight on Tuesday when Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services meets.
Last month, an R840-million contract for catering in 31 prisons was awarded to Bosasa, which had been running prison kitchens since 2004 and which is currently under investigation by the Special Investigations Unit for alleged irregularities related to multimillion-rand prisons tenders.
The latest allegations about corruption surfaced in a Mail & Guardian report last week, claiming that the previous chief financial officer of the department of correctional services, Patrick Gillingham, leaked confidential department documents to Angelo Agrizzi, Bosasa's operations co-ordinator. This correspondence is published on the newspaper's web site, together with letters and evidence of alleged private surveillance of correctional services employees by Bosasa.
It is also claimed that the company had prior, privileged access to tender documents for projects amounting to billions of rands, such as the outsourced catering, X-ray machines in prisons and prison fencing. Bosasa's contracts from the department totalled more than R3-billion.