ANC MP Cedric Frolick has denied receiving monthly payments from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, as alleged by the controversial company’s former COO Angelo Agrizzi at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Frolick was on Friday giving testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture, related to him also being implicated in alleged dodgy dealings with Bosasa.
Frolick’s appearance before the chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, was postponed in July due to him being unwell.
Frolick was implicated in testimony by Agrizzi, who said the MP visited the controversial company’s office park around 2010.
Agrizzi told Zondo that the purpose of the visit was to have a discussion about Vincent Smith, who was the chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services and at the time, was “anti-Bosasa”.
Watson told Agrizzi that Frolick would be instrumental in winning over Smith so that the company would not lose any of its contracts with the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Zondo heard last year. Agrizzi said Watson had asked Frolick to do everything possible to win over Smith, or try to move him out of the chairpersonship of the committee.
Agrizzi further said that during the visit, Watson slid a security bag, which he earlier testified would contain money, into Frolick’s jacket pocket.
Debriefing Watson after the visit, Agrizzi told the CEO that Frolick had been very impressed and was “100% on board”, and that Frolick had mentioned that he had been involved with the family for years.
Watson instructed that Frolick should receive a monthly R40,000 payment.
On Friday, Frolick said his “comrade” and “friend” ANC MP Butana Komphela had asked him to accompany him to the Bosasa office park to view the youth centre there, which catered for young criminal offenders.
Frolick told Zondo that he has never received money from Watson or Bosasa.
“I did not receive money, let alone monthly payments as alleged by Mr Agrizzi,” Frolick said.
Frolick said the only money he had received was R25,000 from Valence Watson, which was a contribution to the ANC’s election funds at a time, when he was on the party’s regional fundraising committee.
The R25,000 was handed over to the ANC’s regional secretary and confirmed by the regional treasurer, Frolick said.
Frolick pointed out that in his testimony, Agrizzi failed to give details on how the alleged monthly payments from Bosasa were made to him and furthermore, did not give a time period when these payments were made, which he said “speaks volumes”.
Frolick said because of this, it makes it difficult for him to respond to Agrizzi’s affidavit to the commission.
Agrizzi told Zondo last year that he had travelled to Port Elizabeth and handed over a security bag of money to Watson’s brother, Valence, who then handed it to Frolick.
At some point of his testimony on Friday, Frolick told Zondo that he had had a discussion with Valence Watson ahead of his appearance before the commission and asked him about the allegations made by Agrizzi.
Frolick said Valence Watson said to him that Agrizzi did not give him a bag of money to give to Frolick.
Frolick said he did not ask Valence Watson to provide a confirmatory affidavit.
The ANC MP said the Watson family is still quite upset about the mysterious death of Gavin Watson, “and they have a particular view”, and that Valence Watson gets angered, upset, and agitated when the allegations made by Agrizzi are mentioned.
The Watson family is consulting their attorneys about the allegations made by Agrizzi, Frolick said.
The ANC MP’s testimony continues. Watch the proceedings live courtesy of the SABC: