Challenge Agrizzi if not guilty

A former executive at corruption-accused facilities management company Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi, continues to give testimony at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
A former executive at corruption-accused facilities management company Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi, continues to give testimony at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi returned to the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture yesterday, and as expected, continued to spill the beans, implicating high-profile politicians. He once again brought environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane into the spotlight in his damning testimony.

Answering questions, Agrizzi said he always thought the reason Bosasa maintained Mokonyane's favour was because of her political influence, which he said was used to freeze criminal proceedings in 2009, after the special investigating unit found that the company had bribed state officials to secure lucrative contracts.

Agrizzi said the company splurged out about R75m a year on bribes or "gratuities" to secure multibillion-rand deals via various contracts from provincial governments, state departments and the private sector between 2000 and 2016.

The forthright Agrizzi, who in his first testimony also revealed shocking details about the alleged corrupt relationship between Bosasa and high-ranking politicians, yesterday recalled two occasions where he saw Mokonyane allegedly receiving cash - the first being at a venue in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

He also dropped a bombshell when he revealed that the top six of the governing party were also taken care of by the controversial prisons facilities company.

Of concern is that most of the people implicated seem to be uninterested in coming forward and applying to cross-examine Agrizzi.

And more disturbing is the fact that the implicated politicians are on the ANC national list submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission ahead of the May 8 general elections. As such, we support the ANC veterans, who have vowed to block the tainted politicians from going to parliament.

The burning question that begs the answer is: Why are those implicated not applying to cross-examine Agrizzi and other people who implicated them?

It is worrying because these are the people who will be make policies in parliament and legislatures if the ANC wins elections.

It is unfortunate, though, that some, if not all them would not have cross-examined those who implicated them at the commission at the time of the elections. Again, it will be bad for SA's politics and image to have tainted lawmakers.

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