Fraud and corruption accused and former Bosasa COO Agrizzi’s health is deteriorating, says his legal team

Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi, who faces corruption charges in the state capture scandal, is on life support after suffering a heart attack, his lawyer confirmed yesterday. "He is obviously in a very serious condition," Daniel Witz said

Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi, who faces corruption charges in the state capture scandal, is on life support after suffering a heart attack, his lawyer confirmed yesterday. "He is obviously in a very serious condition," Daniel Witz said

Published Oct 4, 2022


The R1.8 billion fraud and corruption matter against former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi will be back in court in December.

The case against Agrizzi and his co-accused from the Correctional Services Department was provisionally postponed yesterday to allow legal teams to go over his medical reports.

Agrizzi was arrested in 2020 alongside former ANC MP Vincent Smith on a raft of fraud and corruption charges.

He stands accused of offering gratification on behalf of Bosasa to Smith in exchange for his influence as the then chairperson of Parliament’s oversight committee on correctional services.

Bosasa scored contracts totalling just over R1 billion from the Department of Correctional Services between 2004 and 2007.

He has been a no-show to all court cases. His legal team said this was due to Agrizzi’s health challenges.

The case was presided over by Deputy Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria, Judge Aubrey Ledwaba.

The case has been postponed a couple of times. Three of Agrizzi’s co-accused were present in court.

Judge Ledwaba said there was a need for the medical reports to be collated and a way forward in terms of Agrizzi’s health where this case was concerned.

In May this year, the Investigating Directorate (ID) said Agrizzi was going to be examined by an independent pulmonologist to determine if he could stand his corruption trial.

“The matter was remanded to December 2, 2022 for the joint medical/minutes reports to be compiled by the respective experts for the state and the defence. The said reports must be filed with the judge’s registrar a month from Monday (yesterday) to determine whether Agrizzi is fit or not to stand trial,” said Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka.

Agrizzi’s lawyer, advocate Mannie Witz, said the matter was postponed to a provisional date. He said what was happening in the interim was for medical experts (of Agrizzi) to provide the state with the medicalx records. They are in possession of the reports.

“The state has procured various medical experts in similar fields of work and expertise and knowledge to examine the reports and what we've then arranged with Ledwaba is the following that the doctors will meet either in person or on Microsoft Teams or Zoom, whatever they make their arrangements.

“They will then do what's called a joint pretrial minute, where they either agree to agree or agree to disagree. If they disagree, they set out the medical reasons why they disagree. And by then, hopefully, we'll have the way forward for Agrizzi, whether he's medically fit or neurologically fit to stand a very testing trial that's probably going to last for a long period of time, at least. I would say, six months to a year minimum, even on a continuous roll with the number of witnesses as well as the voluminous documentation, etc. relating to the matter”.

Witz said they were awaiting the outcome of what the doctors said, and it would then guide them. Ledwaba also requested that when they received the medical reports if the State intended to proceed with the application. They alleged Agrizzi was delaying the trial, and they also wanted to bring an application in terms of Section 67 two of the Common Procedure Act, which dealt with bail and the fact that one does not attend court and the reason for not attending court.

Witz dismissed claims Agrizzi was delaying the case.

“The interesting thing is that it took Agrizzi a year and a half, we bought a Section 342 (a) which is in terms of the current procedure act, we brought it against the state saying that they delaying it took them a year and a half and longer till they finally got medical experts of their own to examine Aggrizzi on a medical point of view. So if there's been any delay, we are the ones who allege that they brought the delay that was going to be heard, but because of the medical reasons and because the reports still had to be signed, it still had to be served, and there's still work to be completed. We did not proceed with Section 342 (a).

“Now, all of a sudden, I think this is our third appearance in the high court. This was previously in the specialised commercial crime court. All of a sudden, the state now was, and they said well, they'd like to bring the section as to the delay, but to me. It's a fruitless exercise. They know what the delay is. There's not a delay. It all relates to his medical condition either he is medically fit or neurologically fit to a combination of both the standard trial, which is not as simple and easy as that

Witz said Agrizzi has been struggling to breathe.

“As we speak, I saw him a week ago on Friday. I'm not a medical expert, but it is common cause everybody knows Agrizzi is on 24/7 oxygen just to survive, just to survive nine litres plus at times a minute, just to keep him going and just to keep him alive. So I think it's very, very clear that physically from a medical point of view, you won't be able to physically appear in a court of law. There is talk of possibly doing it virtually, but I'm not sure how the logistics and if that will work and how much time he’d be able to do and even there he will need medical assistance just to do a little bit on a virtual basis so his health condition is not that good at the moment,” Witz said.