Ex-Bosasa execs shocked at arrest

Former Bosasa executivesAngelo Agrizzi and Andries van Tonder./Alaister Russell
Former Bosasa executivesAngelo Agrizzi and Andries van Tonder./Alaister Russell

Former Bosasa executives Angelo Agrizzi and Andries van Tonder have expressed shock at their arrest by the Hawks as they believe they helped the country when they gave detailed evidence at the commission of inquiry into state capture.

Agrizzi and Van Tonder, the former COO and CFO of the controversial company respectively, joined former correctional services CFO Patrick Gillingham as they appeared in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court yesterday on fraud, corruption and money-laundering charges.

The three are part of the "sweeping high-profile" arrest of seven people made by the Hawks which it said followed a lengthy investigation involving about R1.6bn misappropriated in tenders between Bosasa and the department of correctional services.

Agrizzi and Van Tonder's lawyer, advocate Mannie Witz, said his clients were still shocked by the unexpected arrest.

"We don't know what led to this and why it happened. We've been cooperating. We don't know who issued the instruction and started to arrest," Witz said.

He said the Hawks seemingly effected the arrest but somebody issued the instruction.

"We've been working with them and the commission. From what I can see this is from 2008 onwards. it came as a bit of a surprise but we'll work on it. I'm sure there is proper reason for it," Witz said.

"They [his clients] were pretty surprised and pretty taken aback. They are giving their full cooperation and assistance to try and help the country, to try and sort all these things out. They know what they have testified about [at the commission] but the arrest came as a bit of a surprise," he said.

Sowetan has learnt that a former correctional services commissioner was among those facing arrest on the matter.

Agrizzi gave shocking evidence before the commission of inquiry into state capture detailing how the company kept a vault with cash as it spent R4m to R6m a month bribing government officials.

He also testified how environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane and former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni were allegedly showered with expensive gifts by the company.

The Hawks were acting on a report by the special investigating unit (SIU) following investigations into Bosasa in 2009 after a series of tenders from the correctional services department.

It was handed over to the NPA and the Hawks after it was concluded but nothing happened afterwards.

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