Former Bosasa executive Frans Vorster dies from Covid-19 complications

Frans Vorster’s corruption case was still under way

Bosasa executive Frans Vorster, right, has died. File photo.
Bosasa executive Frans Vorster, right, has died. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Bosasa’s former fleet manager Frans Vorster has died.

This was confirmed by his attorney Daniel Witz, who said Vorster died on Saturday from complications related to Covid-19.

His daughter Marissa Viljoen posted a moving tribute to her father on Facebook, describing him “as a man with a passion for rugby, a brain for business and a heart for his people, a humble man, someone who will give you his last, a loving person”.

She declined to say anything further about her father’s death, except “a giant has fallen”.  She referred all questions to Witz.

Bosasa whistle-blower Angelo Agrizzi also posted a tribute on Facebook. “We bid farewell to a brother and a warrior. Frans Vorster has left us. He passed away in hospital having succumbed to this pandemic,” he said.

“Frans was a hero in his own right. He stood for what was right in all adversity and fought the good fight. Farewell my brother, my friend, my compatriot. You did us proud. Let’s all support Maxie, his wife, during this sad time.”

At the time of his passing, Vorster and former Bosasa accountant Carlos Bonafacio were facing corruption charges.

Last week, Investigating Directorate (ID) spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said the Pretoria specialised commercial crimes court issued an arrest warrant for Vorster and Bonafacio but stayed the warrants until their appearance in August. The two had failed to appear in court, citing medical reasons.

Bonafacio is facing an additional charge of money laundering.

The charges emanate from allegations that the pair facilitated a payment of R180,000 for the benefit of the former correctional services department’s chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham, who was part of the department’s bid adjudication committee (BAC). The department’s BAC awarded contracts valued at more than R1bn to Bosasa.

“It is alleged the two acted in common purpose with former Bosasa CFO Angelo Agrizzi, and [paid] R180,000 to a Roodepoort car dealership in April 2007 as a deposit for the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz valued at R550,000 for the benefit of Gillingham,” Seboka said.

In 2019, Vorster appeared before the state capture inquiry. He implicated former environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane and former prisons boss Linda Mti in his testimony.

“We ordered an Audi A3, silver in colour, [and] rented that from Bidvest. I had to pick up the vehicle and take it through to the minister’s house,” Vorster testified.

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