Former ANC MP Vincent Smith granted R30,000 bail in 'Bosasa corruption case'

Former ANC MP Vincent Smith appears at the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on Thursday, October 1 2020.
Former ANC MP Vincent Smith appears at the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on Thursday, October 1 2020.
Image: Sunday Times/Alaister Russell

Former ANC MP Vincent Smith appeared in a packed specialised commercial crimes court, sitting in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court, on Thursday, facing charges of corruption.

Wearing a dark blue suit and white shirt, he and his company were charged with fraud and corruption involving about R800,000.

The state told the court that it did not oppose bail.

Smith told the court that he had no previous convictions and pending cases and that it was the first time he was appearing before a criminal court.

He was warned that he was under no obligation to reveal anything related to the case.

In an affidavit read out by his lawyer, Smith said that he was 60 years old and lived in Johannesburg with his son and nephew.

He said he was a pensioner and strenuously denied the allegations against him.

Vincent Smith appeared at the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on October 1 2020. The former ANC MP faces charges of fraud and corruption. Smith was granted bail of R30,000. Subscribe to MultimediaLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive Comment Moderation Policy: https://www.timeslive.co.za/comments/

He said he would stand trial and was determined to prove his innocence. He added that he had no desire to evade justice and would not interfere with the case.

He indicated that he was willing to pay bail of R20,000 but bail was eventually fixed at R30,000. He was ordered to hand over all travel documents, including his passport.

The matter was postponed to October 14.

During earlier testimony at the state capture inquiry commission, Smith dismissed claims that he received a loan of more than R600,000 from Bosasa.

He argued that he made an arrangement with the company’s former COO, Angelo Agrizzi, to pay his daughter's tuition fees. 

Smith has held senior positions, including chairing the standing committee on the auditor-general, and the correctional services committee. Most recently, in the previous parliament, he chaired the ad hoc committee on amending section 25 of the constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation

Bosasa, a facilities management firm, is estimated to have raked in about R12bn in government tenders between 2003 and 2018, largely managing several prisons and the Lindela Repatriation Centre.

Evidence heard at the state capture inquiry has detailed how Bosasa and its top executives granted questionable loans and gifted millions of rand to some ANC leaders, with the governing party also benefiting as an organisation.

Bosasa went into voluntary liquidation in February after several financial institutions opted to close the company's bank accounts as the banks sought to distance themselves from the corruption allegations.

This is a developing story.

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