A warrant for Angelo Agrizzi’s arrest that was authorised last month after he was a no-show at a scheduled appearance in Pretoria’s Specialised Commercial Crime Court, has been deferred again – this time until early next year.
The R1.8 billion fraud and corruption case, in which Agrizzi – the former chief operations officer at Bosasa – stands accused alongside his former colleagues, Patrick Gillingham and Andries van Tonder, as well as former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti, came briefly before the court on Thursday morning.
The matter was expected to be set down for trial but the defence requested more time to go through the docket and the case was, as a result, postponed to February 2021.
A warrant for Agrizzi’s arrest was authorised last month after he was unable to come to court as a result of his recent hospitalisation but it was stayed.
He was again not in court on Thursday, with his lawyer, Mannie Witz, saying he was still in intensive care.
Agrizzi and his co-accused in the case are facing a raft of graft charges brought against them in connection with alleged dodgy prison tenders Bosasa and its subsidiaries scooped between 2004 and 2007 to provide catering and training services, to supply television systems and monitoring equipment, and to install CCTV cameras and perimeter fencing.
Also last month, Agrizzi made his first appearance before the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Palm Ridge to answer to separate charges of fraud and corruption levelled against him in connection with massive kickbacks former ANC MP Vincent Smith allegedly received from Bosasa in exchange for his political influence and protection.
Agrizzi was initially denied bail in that case – with magistrate Philip Venter finding he was a flight risk and highlighting the “headache” the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had in trying to extradite the Gupta brothers. This had since been overturned by the South Gauteng High Court.