Angelo Agrizzi: How Bosasa paid NPA insiders to stop corruption prosecution

Angelo Agrizzi testifies before the state capture inquiry on Thursday.
Angelo Agrizzi testifies before the state capture inquiry on Thursday.
Image: Alaister Russell

Senior National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials were on Bosasa's payroll to bury corruption prosecutions, the state capture inquiry heard on Thursday.

In a morning of dramatic revelations, former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi told the Zondo commission of inquiry the graft probes stemmed from a damning Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into corruption at the correctional services department.

Agrizzi claimed the NPA's Nomgcobo Jiba, Lawrence Mrewbi and Jackie Lapinka, who was Jiba's personal assistant, were paid on a monthly basis by former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti.

He alleged that Jiba was paid R100,000 a month, Lapinka received R20,000 a month and Mrwebi pocketed R10,000 a month.

Earlier, Agrizzi revealed a list of officials from the department of correctional services who received money from Bosasa. He said Mti had drafted a list of people that were meant to be paid out.

"He suggested we needed to pay, sort out, individuals within the NPA so we could curry favour, there was a lot of documentation that came from Mr Mti. He told us we needed to make up packages for various people, it needed to be done urgently," alleged Agrizzi.

Speaking on day seven of his testimony before deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, Agrizzi named former correctional services commissioner Zach Modise, among others, who received monthly payments from the company.

According to Agrizzi, the list of people that were being paid per month were: Josiah Maako - R15,000, Maria Mabena - R10,000, Shishi Mathabela - R10,000, * Mkhabela - R10,000, Dikeledi Tshabalala - R15,000, Zach Modise - R20,000 and Mollot Ngubo - R15,000.

Papa Leshabane was getting R71,000 a month to pay Zack Modise and three journalists, which he did not name, to not write stories about Bosasa.

On Wednesday, Agrizzi confirmed the findings of an extensive investigation conducted by the SIU into corruption and tender rigging at the correctional services department 10 years ago.

The former chief operating officer told the commission he would meet with Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson at least once a month to discuss a list of correctional services officials to bribe with cash, after Mti resigned and Patrick Gillingham had been demoted.

*Mkhabela's first name is not known.

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi told the Zondo commission that his boss, Gavin Watson, had former president Jacob Zuma in his pocket. Agrizzi said Watson had the type of relationship with Zuma where he could tell him what to do. An audio clip, dated May 8 2016, was played at the commission in which Watson tells former correctional services boss Linda Mit and Agrizzi what he intends to say when he speaks to Zuma.

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