‘Ailing’ Angelo Agrizzi a no-show in R1.8bn court case, matter postponed

Angelo Agrizzi. FILE

Angelo Agrizzi. FILE

Published Oct 3, 2022


Cape Town -- One of the fraud and corruption cases against former Bosasa bigwig, Angelo Agrizzi, has been postponed to December 2, the Pretoria High Court said on Monday.

It is the latest delay of court proceedings for scandal-prone Agrizzi who faces a myriad charges related to four tenders that were awarded to Bosasa and its subsidiaries between August 2004 and 2007.

Agrizzi's co-accused are the erstwhile commissioner of correctional services, Linda Mti, the former head of finance at correctional services, Patrick Gillingham, and the former head of finance at Bosasa, Andries van Tonder.

The case was heard on Monday in courtroom GD, said Sindisiwe Seboka, the spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Deputy Judge President of the Pretoria High Court, Aubrey Ledwaba, presided over the matter.

Weekend Argus previously exclusively reported that Agrizzi’s team of doctors and specialists concurred with the State- appointed doctors that his condition is so “ailing” that he cannot attend to court matters.

According to the medical reports, Agrizzi was diagnosed with severe obesity.

“(He suffers) from hypoventilation syndrome (a disorder that affects normal breathing) due to class III obesity confirmed on a polysomnography and is currently on bi-level positive airway pressure at home,” read one of the reports, compiled by Dr Emmanuel Malish Taban.

Taban is the medical expert appointed by the NPA’s investigative directorate.

In other leaked documents depicting the full medical history of Agrizzi, the NPA was informed by Agrizzi’s medical doctor, Dr Muhammed Chohan, that he was indisposed.

“I reviewed Angelo in my rooms recently (and) his status is as follows: oxygen dependency is ongoing with use of nine litre at home per minute and a portable device at 6l when he is leaving home,” read Chohan’s report from October last year.

Agrizzi’s lawyer, Daniel Witz, said the medical report of the NPA will only be filed in court once the two medical experts meet.

“The State’s medical expert needs to meet Angelo’s medical experts and prepare joint minutes for the court,” Witz said on Monday, adding that “they have not met yet”.

Witz said the postponement was due to the “joint meeting” which is yet to take place.

Agrizzi telephonically told Weekend Argus on Monday morning that he doesn’t think he will be able to recover.

“Unfortunately there is no chance of me recovering and at best we can only hope to prevent any further deterioration ... the details are obviously before the court and available there,” Agrizzi said.

He gave the phone to his nurse to answer any further questions.

The nurse, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “I was contracted to assist with Mr A (Agrizzi) since June 2021.”

She added: “All I can say is he is a survivor. He is very sick but doesn’t show it. He can hardly walk by himself but it was always a pleasure to nurse him ... he is a fighter and I’m sure he won’t let this get him down, he remains positive.”

Angelo Agrizzi on Monday morning said this is where he “spend my days”. SUPPLIED

The other case relates to R800 000 worth of kickbacks former ANC MP Vincent Smith allegedly received from Bosasa in exchange for his political influence and protection.

The case was separated due to Agrizzi's ill health.

Weekend Argus.