Former chief operating officer of facilities management company Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi on Thursday told the Zondo Commission that people who knew “too much” or disobeyed instructions were “disposed of”.
The former COO said Bosasa allegedly paid people bribes on a monthly basis so they could keep them under control and happy, further describing the life of living on bribes as a “trap”. He said he also used to be given money to keep him happy and quiet.
He said: “The money was never recorded in the books, it was paid to keep me happy and buy loyalty, it made me feel important and got caught up in the cult. Bribery is a trap because you raise your standard of living when you get it and that’s the whole monopoly idea. As soon as you start complaining about it, it gets taken away. They paid people bribes on a monthly basis to control them.”
However, when the bribery stopped working on people, Agrizzi said those who knew “too much” or started complaining about their responsibilities would be “disposed of”.
“I know because I used to do some of the disposing. There was a dustbin with people’s names in it. If you served your purpose and started raising your voice and started saying you did not want to do it anymore, you would simply be terminated. They would say ‘we don’t need this person anymore’. If you started raising your voice, you would be taken out just like that,” he said.
Agrizzi said he was once called into a meeting and was told he had to keep doing the job because as a white man, he did not have any prospects outside the job. In the meeting, he said a man opened a bag and showed him a gun.
“I was called at a meeting at Michelangelo [Hotel in Sandton] once with a gentleman named Killer Ximba, he opened up a bag and showed me a .45 colt with a white handle,” he said.
On why he took video footage and submitted to the commission, Agrizzi said he did it as evidence that he was not the only one who did the job. He alleged people who left the company would be blamed for everything that went wrong, and he kept the videos as proof that he was not the only one. He said he also took videos to prove that chief executive Gavin Watson was allegedly also part of everything even though he never signed any documents.
“I wanted to show the Commission and the whole country how easily it is to bribe people. We were told we were white males and that we would not get jobs anywhere. We lived in a dangerous world and if you knew too much, you would get disposed off. I already had it in mind that I wanted to share the video.
“If I didn’t come with evidence, everything would have been pinned on me,” he said.