After initially failing to appear before the Zondo commission last week, Sandy Thomas, who is former minister of water and environmental affairs Nomvula Mokonyane’s personal assistant, gave her testimony relating to Bosasa.
This comes after Mokonyane last month denied claims that she received bribes from Bosasa.
According to Thomas, she has been working for Mokonyane for 20 years and is currently employed at the Chief Albert Luthuli House, which is headquarters of the African National Congress (ANC).
With Advocate Viwe Notshe leading the evidence, Thomas revealed that she and Mokonyane are using the same lawyers, but argued that she is paying for the legal fees from her own pocket.
Thomas told the commission that she would get birthday presents from the late Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson over the years, which would come as a “surprise”, however, it did not happen frequently.
She said that she would receive most of her gifts through former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, who she spoke to via telephonic calls.
In 2019, Agrizzi made allegations that Bosasa maintained a relationship with Mokonyane because she was “powerful”.
Agrizzi said that the former minister received R50,000 a month in cash from Bosasa and also received gifts, including meat and alcohol for family.
The former COO had also told the commission that Bosasa had paid for maintenance at her home, including a garden service, repairs to electric fencing and the installation of new security camera systems.
During her testimony, Thomas confirmed to the commission that Mokonyane’s helper or husband would tell her about maintenance issues at the house such as when the power goes off, water pipes burst, or globes blew, which would then be attended to by former Bosasa employee Richard Le Roux.
This follows Le Roux’s testimony last month that he had done some repair work at Mokonyane’s home.
“There was a time when the alarm went off and I received a call from the house regarding an alarm system alert. I then called Mr Le Roux for assistance since I had got his number from Mr Mokonyane,” she said.
She added Le Roux did know where the house was.
Thomas further said that Bosasa would send groceries to Mokonyane’s home and pay for “most” of them for her Christmas parties.
“There were groceries packaged, but the food would be distributed to families in Kagiso. There would be Christmas groceries as well, but not all of them were done with Bosasa,” she said.
Thomas added that at some instances, Mokonyane would do the pack and deliver the groceries herself and spent time with elderly people in Kagiso.
Before adjourning the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo pointed out that some of the evidence Thomas gave did correlate to Agrizzi’s testimony regarding the maintenance issues at Mokonyane’s house and others.
Watch the full recap of the proceedings below: