Zondo inquiry: Pretoria magistrate denies Bosasa sponsored security upgrades
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Suspended Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair has denied benefiting from Bosasa-sponsored security upgrades to his home.
Nair appeared before the Zondo commission on Monday. He was implicated in testimony provided to the commission in January 2019.
Former Bosasa IT specialist Richard le Roux said he had been instructed by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi to oversee security installations at Nair's Pretoria home.
Le Roux said the installations cost R250 000 and included an electric fence, camera system and alarm beams.
Nair faced questions regarding the security installations. He admitted to the security upgrades but disputed Bosasa and Le Roux's involvement, and the cost of the project.
He said a Mr D Baijoo, who worked for Sondolo IT, a Bosasa-linked company, had conducted the installations.
Nair said he knew Baijoo from his official work at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, where he would often be in charge of security work. Bosasa's Sondolo IT had a contract with the department of justice for technical work at the court.
Nair said he and Baijoo had a friendly relationship that remained professional.
He said that in 2016, while he was acting as a judge, he had expressed his concerns about his safety and security to Baijoo.
Nair said Baijoo had been sympathetic. They entered into a verbal agreement where Baijoo would personally oversee the installation of security features at Nair's home.
The magistrate said the agreement was that the costs should not exceed R50 000 for installing a basic camera system, repairing an electric fence, an alarm system and beams. Nair said the job took three days.
On earlier evidence, Le Roux had alleged that seven men saw to the security installations which cost R252 000. Nair disputed that on Monday.
He insisted that he never paid Baijoo for his work, because the job was "botched" and not done accordingly.
There was never a signed agreement between the men. Nair said it was a verbal agreement, and Baijoo would carry the costs and later charge him for his services.
"No I placed my complete faith and trust in him (Baijoo) I wanted a basic system and once he agreed to do the job, it was a question of let's get it done," he said.
Le Roux had also alleged that Agrizzi was acting on instructions from a Bosasa executive.
Nair said he knew nothing about the man. He insisted that he never interacted with either Agrizzi or Gavin Watson.
"I did not know these individuals, Agrizzi, Mr Watson. At no point did he mention Mr Trevor Mathenjwa.
"I deny having discussed anything about the installation with Mr Le Roux. There was no communication with Mr Le Roux regarding the installations.“
Nair has been on suspension since February 2020. The Magistrates Commission had conducted a probe into Nair shortly after the evidence was heard.
He faced two counts of misconduct linked to allegations made by Le Roux.
He was also accused of acting without integrity and in a manner that did not uphold and promote the good name, dignity and esteem of the office of magistrate, and the administration of justice.
Nair may have also breached the code of conduct for magistrates by directly or indirectly negotiating or accepting/receiving a gift, favour, benefit or advantage from Bosasa.