Smith and Agrizzi corruption matter postponed
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Johannesburg - More woes are piling up for ANC member and former MP Vincent Smith as more charges are set to be added on top of the corruption charges he already faces.
The Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday postponed the matter involving Smith and former Bosasa Chief Operations Officer Angelo Agrizzi to September 28.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate (ID) made an application under Section 157(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act to have the matter of the pair separated.
This is after Agrizzi failed to appear in court previously, due to a proven medical condition, which led to Smith attending court alone. In May the ID applied for a separation of the case.
ID spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka confirmed that the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court granted the application to not infringe on Smith’s constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial.
Seboka said Agrizzi’s lawyer Mannie Witz had submitted a medical report that Agrizzi is currently unfit to stand trial.
Whenever Agrizzi made an appearance, be it at the State Capture Commission or giving interviews, he had been seen using an oxygen pipe device.
Additionally, the ID notified the court of looming additional charges to be brought against Smith in the same matter.
“Agrizzi and Smith have been charged with corruption, while Smith faces additional charges of fraud,” Seboka said.
Seboka added that the charges stem from Bosasa through Agrizzi, offering Smith gratifications in the form of security upgrades to his Gauteng home, and Smith’s further accepting of cash transferred into his personal bank account via the bank account of his company, Euroblitz.
“There are also alleged payments which were in exchange for the use of his political influence as a member of Parliament for the ruling party, to shield Bosasa from accountability for corrupting officials in the Department of Correctional Services, who awarded Bosasa contracts worth billions of rands,” she said.
She further said Smith’s fraud charge emanates from his failure to disclose to the Registrar of parliamentary members’ interests the gratifications that he received from Bosasa, pursuant to the alleged corrupt activities with which he, Euroblitz and Agrizzi are charged.
Earlier this year, Seboka said Smith had a provisional restraint order of R46 million issued on February 2 against his property, his company and a portion of his daughter’s assets.