He's not done yet! Agrizzi called to testify at Jiba and Mrwebi inquiry

30 January 2019 - 18:40
By qaanitah hunter
Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi, fresh from giving evidence at the state capture inquiry, has been called to testify at another inquiry.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi, fresh from giving evidence at the state capture inquiry, has been called to testify at another inquiry.

The inquiry into the National Prosecuting Authority's Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi has called former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi to give evidence before it.

The inquiry, headed by retired judge Yvonne Mokgoro, heard from evidence leader advocate Nazreen Bawa that they had received Agrizzi’s affidavit lodged at the Zondo commission into state capture.

"Mr Agrizzi ... has been provided with a letter, which was hand-delivered to him, that gives him an indication that he is being requested to provide evidence before this inquiry," she said.

In Agrizzi’s testimony to the Zondo commission, he claimed that Jiba and Mrwebi had received cash payments from Bosasa in exchange of information. He alleged that Jiba had received R100,000 and Mrwebi R10,000.

He also submitted as evidence confidential NPA documents which he claimed Bosasa had received from Jiba. 

The pair have both publicly denied the accusations and have written to the Zondo commission to have their side of the story heard.

The Mokgoro commission is also expected to hear evidence from another witness who made reference to the NPA at the Zondo commission.

Bawa said advocate Mahlodi Muofhe, a former special adviser in the mineral resources ministry, had also asked to give testimony at the Mokgoro inquiry.

Muofhe testified last year that former president Jacob Zuma wanted to protect Jiba from prosecution.

Meanwhile, the inquiry into the fitness of Jiba and Mrwebi to hold office heard testimony from director of public prosecutions in the North Gauteng division, advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, who said he, too, had been shocked by Mrwebi’s decision to withdraw charges against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

He said that he had been forced to provisionally withdraw the charges against Mdluli in December 2011, even though there had been no basis for the withdrawal.

Mzinyanthi told the inquiry that since the withdrawal of the case he had not discussed the Mdluli matter with Mrwebi.

He further detailed how an effort to declassify information by the police had stalled the investigation into fraud against Mdluli.

"There’s a current ongoing difficulty around the certain declassification of documents," he said.

Mrwebi's handling of the Mdluli matter has been at the centre of arguments that he is not fit to hold office as special director of public prosecutions.

Mzinyathi collaborated evidence from former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, who said the decision to withdraw the case against Mdluli was not sound in law.

Breytenbach also told the commission that Jiba had had her suspended without a valid reason.

The inquiry also heard evidence from former CEO of the NPA Karen van Rensburg, who detailed how Jiba did not want to sign the suspension notice against Breytenbach.

She said the minister of justice had also refused to sign the letter of suspension and the matter had stalled for two months.

The inquiry further heard that Breytenbach’s disciplinary hearing cost the NPA R6.5m - a matter that Breytenbach later won.

Current deputy national director of public prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr is expected to testify on Thursday.