Opposition party, the Congress of the People (Cope) on Wednesday laid charges against 15 individuals implicated by former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi at the ongoing state capture commission of inquiry headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Cope National Secretary of Communications Dennis Bloem arrived at the Brooklyn police station, east of Pretoria, on Wednesday. He was later joined by a handful of other Cope members after he had opened the case, inside the station.
“I have laid corruption charges against very senior officials of the correctional services department,” Bloem said.
He said the officials include Linda Mti [former correctional services national commissioner], another former correctional services commissioner Zach Modise, Grace Molatedi [former Free State deputy regional commissioner], and the former correctional services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham.
“All of them, I have laid charges against them,” Bloem said.
“The police must investigate this case of fraud and corruption. We view it in a very serious light. It can’t be that people are named in a commission of inquiry and they are just going up and down as if it’s business as usual. No. It can’t be.
“We want the police to investigate. The National Prosecuting Authority must investigate and prosecute these people. If they are found guilty, they must go to jail.”
Agrizzi is among suspects who have been arrested by the elite Hawks unit of the South African Police Service on allegations of corruption, money laundering and fraud involving the Bosasa contracts with the Department of Correctional Services.
Mti and Gillingham were also arrested. The court documents which have been presented also reveal that former Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder was arrested. The African Global Operations (formerly known as Bosasa) has also been charged.
Journalists in Pretoria asked Bloem whether he was not jumping onto a train that is already moving.
He responded: “They were arrested on the issues of 2009, the SIU [Special Investigating Unit] investigation. That is the case that they are facing now and not this one of the revelations of Agrizzi. It’s two separate and different cases.
“That one there was the SIU, they were supposed to have been arrested already in 2009 but as Jonas [former finance deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas] has said, the Hawks, the NPA and the criminal justice system was captured.
“This is why you see they are only being arrested now. It’s two different cases.”
Bloem said the Cope programme of intervention had nothing to do with electioneering ahead of the 8 May general elections.
“I have opened cases since 2015 … there was no election at that time. We, as the Congress of the People, are there for justice. We will never get tired of fighting and opening up cases,” an emphatic Bloem said.
“This is not about the elections. It’s about justice. We want to see corruption being wiped out in this country.”
Several news crews were milling outside the Brooklyn police station.
Agrizzi has previously told the Zondo-led commission of inquiry into state capture that Bosasa, now called African Global Operations, paid up to R6 million a month in bribes to senior officials of state-owned enterprises such as the Airports Company SA (Acsa) and the SA Post Office (Sapo).
– African News Agency (ANA)