'I believe God has my back': Agrizzi opens up post state capture testimony
Whistleblower and former COO of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi said he is holding onto his faith despite facing criminal charges and attacks levelled against him following his dramatic testimony at the state capture inquiry.
"I am not afraid at all, I do believe that God has my back…" he said during an interview on the Confidential Brief Show on ChaiFM on Monday.
Agrizzi said he had worked for Bosasa for over 19 years and corruption had been ongoing in the company for years.
Asked why he had previously kept quiet about the alleged corruption, he answered. "This is the same question that abused women get asked all the time. (I had) hoped it would get better with time as we spoke to people, made recommendations…" he said.
During his testimony before the state capture inquiry headed by judge Raymond Zondo, he presented six-minute-long video evidence showing wads of cash totalling R1m being counted for the payment of bribes.
We’ve been working on it for two years, so it was a bit sad for us to be arrestedAngelo Agrizzi, former Bosasa executive
Environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane, former SA Airways chair Dudu Myeni and former Sars boss Tom Moyane were some of the big names fingered during Agrizzi's testimony.
Agrizzi was arrested earlier this month alongside six others for alleged corrupt awarding of tenders worth R1.6bn by the department of correctional services. The group was later released on R20,000 bail each.
"It was a bit shocking for us [to be arrested], but what is important to note is that there is a team of whistleblowers ... they’ve committed to say, you know, for the next eight months to a year, to helping wherever we can to uncover the scourge [of corruption]. We’ve been working on it for two years, so it was a bit sad for us to be arrested…" he said on radio.
"Unfortunately, that kind of sends out a message to the general whistleblowers which we didn’t want, that rather don’t say anything because you gonna get locked up…" he said.
While the country has had a number of commissions of inquiry, Agrizzi said the commission into allegations of state capture was the first of its kind.
"I believe that we are going through, historically, a total game-changing process in South Africa at the moment.
"For so long people have just accepted corruption, life has carried on... People have now become aware of it…
"I think Judge Zondo has got his heart in the right place. He is there to try and help the government and help the country heal itself," said Agrizzi.
Some of the people implicated in Agrizzi’s testimony have publicly denied receiving bribes from Bosasa.
"I stand by my testimony, I told the truth as it is," he said.
Agrizzi said one of the major things he had learnt through corruption dealings in Bosasa was that everybody had it in them to be corrupted.
"Unfortunately, I have seen top government officials who I thought were incorruptible get corrupted…" he said.