Johannesburg - Gregory John Lawrence personally delivered millions of rands in cash to Bosasa, used to pay bribes to corrupt senior government officials and ANC officials, the state capture commission of inquiry heard on Tuesday.
Lawrence testified about one of the money laundering schemes used by Bosasa to access large amounts of cash without raising suspicions from authorities. The transactions were made through the creation of fake order sheets for goods and sent to a company called Equal Trade Pty Ltd.
He told the commission, led by Justice Raymond Zondo, that he once worked with former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi and later with Greg Lacon-Allin, owner of Equal Trade. He worked extensively as a supplier, and supplied catering goods, food items, including alcohol, to local mining companies and across the African continent. His business received 60 percent of payments in cash and the rest through electronic transfers.
At some point, Lacon-Allin asked Lawrence to deliver cash to Bosasa instead of taking it to the bank, he told the inquiry. He said he agreed as this was a cost-saving exercise for him as banks charged excessive amounts when depositing large amounts of cash.
''I would notify them [Bosasa] that I have the cash available, make arrangements on where to meet. We met at Bosasa [head office in Krugersdorp] most of the time. The amounts varied...anytime I got R500 000 I would contact them. The highest amount [delivered] was probably R800 000 to R1 million.''
The deliveries carried on for months. Lawrence said he suspected that Bosasa was using the cash for ''something underhanded''.
''They were not a bank, so something was not right,'' he said.
Lawrence then started to video record the cash deliveries using his cellphone. However, he could not recall the exact dates he made the deliveries or the name of the one person he said he delivered the cash to at Bosasa.
Evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius asked Lawrence why he decided to record the deliveries.
Lawrence replied: ''I do not know why I did it...maybe to protect myself in the future? I knew that what they were doing was suspicious.''
One of the video clips showed Lawrence in a vehicle at Bosasa offices. Outside the car window was a man whom he said he always received the cash from, but he had forgotten his name. The clips showed wads of cash, mostly R100 and R200 notes, in boxes.
Lawrence added that he no longer has the cellphone he recorded the videos with, but assured Pretorius that he was available to assist the commission in its further investigation regarding his testimony.
Former Bosasa chief financial officer Andries van Tonder testified last week that cash orders to Equal Trade were coded, where ''1 ton of chicken'' was code for R1 million cash.
Van Tonder testified that he did collect the cash as well, and that up to R6 million was generated from Equal Trade, stacked up in a safe at Bosasa and used to pay bribes.
Lawrence said he was paid a commission by Bosasa for each delivery.
African News Agency (ANA)