Former chief operating officer of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Despite facing serious charges of theft, Angelo Agrizzi and Andries Van Tonder may not see the inside of a prison cell even if they are convicted.

That is because the Watson family, who owns Bosasa, wants them to pay back the R37.5 million they allegedly stole between 2012 and 2017. The family on Wednesday pressed charges of theft against Agrizzi and van Tonder.

Agrizzi was the company’s trusted chief operating officer and Van Tonder was in charge of the company’s billions as a chief financial officer. Through Jared Watson, who is the nephew of Bosasa's late founder Gavin Watson, theft charges were laid at Krugersdorp police station. The company applied for a section 300 compensation order. Jared said that was because they want the two to pay back the money they allegedly stole during their time with the company. 

“And yes, as part of the criminal charges, we have requested a section 300 award for compensation according to the Criminal Procedures act,” he said briefly about their request. 

According to online law portal, derebus.org.za, section 300 of the criminal procedure act makes provision for an award of compensation by the court during criminal proceedings. 

The section provides that where a person is convicted of an offence, which has caused damage to or loss of property, the court in question may, on the application of the injured person or of the prosecutor acting on the instructions of the injured person, forthwith award the injured person compensation for such damage or loss. 

Asked by Independent Media to comment about the matter, Agrizzi said: “I have not been made aware of the actual charges so I cannot comment as yet.” This was while efforts to trace Van Tonder yielded no positive results.  

After pressing the theft charges against the two on Wednesday, Jared told Independent Media that the two former employees used the companies to bill Bosasa for dubious services that were never rendered, hence the decision to press 171 cases of theft against them. He said Bosasa had uncovered this after conducting a detailed forensic investigation.

“Basically, Agrizzi and Van Tonder owned CC’s (close corporations). Those CC’s would invoice Bosasa, for example for 100k. Agrizzi and Van Tonder as the COO and CFO, respectively, would then ‘receive’ those invoices. Agrizzi and Van Tonder would then approve those invoices together, as the two of them could approve any transaction if they both signed, and those approved invoices would then be paid by the company,” he said.

Among the companies included in the affidavit are Spilacraft cc, Sinkroprop cc, Aruziwe cc and Lombicor cc. He alleged that in order to conceal their tracks they also included companies owned by their relatives, and the companies are: Semeg cc and Stonebridge Electromechanical Engineering.

Political Bureau