Former chief operations officer of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of the People (Cope) on Wednesday called on law enforcement authorities to not take death threats against whistleblower Angelo Agrizzi lightly following his explosive testimony at the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture.

Agrizzi, a former Bosasa marketing coordinator and chief operations officer, told deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo how his former boss Gavin Watson bribed trade union officials and officials from state-owned companies to win lucrative catering, facilities management and security tenders.

Agrizzi implicated companies such as Gold Fields, Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa), the Post Office, as well as the Department of Correctional Services. 

He said that he would show video evidence of Watson, the chief executive of the controversial Bosasa, counting bribe money for state officials, including former correctional services chief financial officer, Patrick Gillingham.

 Agrizzi's appearance at the commission was kept under wraps until the last minute due to alleged threats on his life. 

Dennis Bloem, Cope spokesperson, said Agrizzi's safety was extremely important at this stage, adding that police and the Hawks must not take the death threats against him lightly.

"We have witnessed threats against whistleblowers in South Africa. This is what happens when people live in a mafia state are being silenced, threatened and killed," Bloem said. 

"The allegations made by Agrizzi are quite serious and it is our view that the criminal justice system must investigate these allegations and arrest all those implicated.

"Congress of the People welcomes and applaud Agrizzi for his bravery; for coming forward and telling the country about corruption, bribery and money laundering in government and the correctional services."

Bloem said they hoped that Agrizzi would expose more corruption and assist in rooting out the cancer of corruption at the Department of Correctional Services. 

Agrizzi also told the inquiry that Watson had a walk-in vault located in the company's boardroom for bribery money and that he spent between R4 million to R6 million a month in cash for bribes.

Agrizzi will continue his testimony on Thursday.

African News Agency (ANA)