ANC pleads for workers as banks close Bosasa accounts

Both FNB and Absa have closed Bosasa bank accounts.
Both FNB and Absa have closed Bosasa bank accounts.
Image: MDUDUZI NDZINGI

The ANC has called for the banks to keep the accounts of Bosasa open to allow employees to receive their salaries.

This comes after FNB and Absa have decided to shut down the banking accounts of the controversial company at the end of the month.

Bosasa has been at the heart of controversy recently after its former top executives testified at the state capture inquiry about the extent of corruption at the company, including paying bribes, some to ANC and government officials, in exchange for tenders.

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi was the first to open the lid on the millions of rand that the company spent in bribing government officials in cash and also through gifts and favours.

Agrizzi spent two weeks on the stand, the longest time by any witness, explaining the corrupt relationship that the company had with senior government officials.

ANC acting spokesperson Dakota Legoete told eNCA yesterday that the interest of the ruling party in the closure of the bank accounts is the workers.

"What we can do is to try to lobby them [banks] to allow accounts of this company to operate so that they can pay their liability, in particular salaries of their staff members," Legoete said.

He told the news channel that the employees had worked and deserved to be paid.

"That is what we can work on. But for the rest of other issues, we can't interfere with the independence of banks, including the independence of individual enterprises in the country.

"We have serious limitations but our concern is that whoever is a director or board member of that company must assist to make sure the workers do not sleep without food on the table," said Legoete.

Statements from FNB and Absa confirmed the banks had informed Bosasa that their accounts would be closed on or by February 28. The banks cited reputational risk as their reason for cutting ties with the services company.

Bosasa, now trading as African Global Operations, has about 4,500 permanent staff and about 3,000 contract workers. The company has already applied for liquidation.

Efforts to get comment from Bosasa were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

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