Angelo Agrizzi still in hospital amid Mti's appearance in court
Johannesburg – Former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti made a brief appearance in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday for his role in awarding more than R1.8 billion tenders to the controversial Bosasa companies while heading a critical government institution.
Mti appeared along with co-accused, former financial officer of correctional services Patrick Gillingham and Andries van Tonder, a former employee of Bosasa. The case was postponed until February 18 to allow the defence to read the docket before the matter is set down for trial.
Angelo Agrizzi was absent as he is still in hospital due to diabetic related illness. He has been hospitalised since October after his appearance in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on October 14 for an unrelated fraud and corruption charges.
In the case, the State alleged Agrizzi and former Bosasa boss Gavin Watson paid large amounts of money to ANC parliamentarian and former chairperson of the portfolio committee on correctional services Vincent Smith.
The money was allegedly paid, including alleged security upgrades at his house to prevent Parliament and the portfolio committee instituting investigations into tenders awarded to Bosasa. Agrizzi and Smith are due in court on December 3 – coincidentally Agrizzi will turn 53 on that day.
The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) had conducted an investigation into the alleged fraud and corruption but its investigations were hampered allegedly through senior Bosasa officials bribing politicians to not execute the law enforcement agency’s recommendations.
But it was the evidence of the Agrizzi in January last year before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo which revealed details of how they allegedly paid millions to ministers and politicians who were apparently close to the then president Jacob Zuma to allegedly influence him not to recommend their prosecution.
Agrizzi’s evidence led to the arrest of Mti on February 7 last year and he was listed accused 1 in the case.