Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi will on Thursday continue testifying before the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, corruption and fraud, a day after revealing the company paid bribes for contracts.
On Wednesday, Agrizzi alleged Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson used his political ties and paid millions of rand to union bosses and government officials to win lucrative contracts at state-owned firms and at mining companies.
Agrizzi said he was Waston’s “right-hand man” from 1999 to 2016 when he worked for Bosasa, previously Dyambu Holdings, and that his boss trusted him with sensitive information.
Watson has close ties to officials within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) through his family’s anti-apartheid struggle credentials. He contributed R500,000 to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign in 2017 and also allegedly installed security equipment at the properties of top party officials.
Agrizzi implicated companies such as GoldFields, Sasol, Airports Company of South Africa, the Post Office, as well as the Department of Correctional Services as having received bribes, saying Watson spent anything between R4 million and R6 million a month in grey plastic bags of money.
Watson bribed the late Jackson Mafika at Kloof gold mine to secure support for Bosasa to win a tender at the mine, he said. Mafika was ANC chief whip at the Westonaria municipality and head of mine union NUM in the area at the time.
At Sasol, Agrizzi said union boss Simon Mofokeng, who was general secretary of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union, received monthly groceries and cash payments to help with contracts.
Agrizzi said he would show video evidence of Watson counting bribe money for state officials, including former correctional services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham.
During this period, Agrizzi said his salary was split into two for him and his wife, even though she was not employed, to reduce his tax bracket and not alert other directors that it was hefty.
Agrizzi also told the inquiry that when Bosasa was awarded a five-year contract by Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) to guard the multi-story parkade at OR Tambo Airport in 2001, he would take stacks of cash to the airport to make payments to officials in bags similar to police evidence bags.
He said former chairperson of South African Airways Dudu Myeni granted him access to confidential National Prosecution Authority files, but it was unclear how she had got hold of them.
Lawyers for the state capture commission said they had alerted those implicated in Agrizzi’s testimony to give them an opportunity to respond. Agrizzi’s appearance at the commission was kept under wraps until the last minute due to alleged threats on his life.
– African News Agency (ANA)