CAPE TOWN, March 28 – Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi on Thursday told the commission of inquiry into state capture that he knew of millions of rand given to the ruling party top 6.
Taking the stand again following his marathon testimony before the commission in January, Agrizzi again detailed how Bosasa, which later traded as African Global Operations, had paid tens of millions in bribes to the politically connected to win favour ahead of lucrative tenders being awarded to the company.
Commission chairman Raymond Zondo then asked Agrizzi about reports in the media, which were later confirmed by former ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had accepted donations from Bosasa despite the company being implicated in wrongdoing in an Special Investigating Unit report.
“Did senior people in the governing party not see all these things and decide that action must be taken to find the truth, did they look away because they knew Bosasa was giving donations to them, I don’ know, but those questions arise…,” said Zondo.
Agrizzi said he knew of cheques delivered to the ANC top six, though he did not specify whether the cheques were made out to the party or individual members of the top six at the time, which included then ANC President Jacob Zuma, then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, then secretary general Gwede Mantashe and his deputy Jesse Duarte, then chairwoman Baleka Mbete, and Mkhize.
“What the honourable chair has said is true. There are large donations. I know of large donations given to the top 6 at one stage of 10 to R12 million cheques that were taken there…,” Agrizzi said.
Security around former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi has been bolstered following a series of threats the state capture whistleblower received.
Agrizzi was back to testify further about the alleged fraud and corruption at the company and how its executives used its influence over politicians and government officials to fleece the State.
Advocate Paul Pretorius, a member of the commission’s legal team, told the inquiry: “Last night [Wednesday] the investigators received a message from a very senior police officer saying that your life is under threat and this was on reliable information.”
Agrizzi confirmed this and that he had been constantly receiving threats, including a note, written in Zulu, that was left on the windshield of his car. Loosely translated, said Pretorius, the note made reference to Agrizzi’s mother and the fact that whoever wrote it knew which car he drove.
“I’ve learnt to take it in my stride now, I accept it…and I’ve been cautioned that maybe I should take these things more seriously,” said Agrizzi, adding that this would not stop him from lifting the lid on alleged wrongdoing by Bosasa and those who were allegedly bribed to get the company, now known as African Global Operations, lucrative government contracts.
Commission chairman, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, said he hoped people would stop discouraging witnesses.
“There can be no doubt that there are many people throughout the country who would not like this commission to succeed, but there are many people in the country who support the commission and I believe that those who support the commission will prevail and that all of us must remain undeterred in doing the right thing…” (ANA)