Bosasa CEO instructed me to scrub Zuma footage — employee

Footage of former president Jacob Zuma visiting Bosasa offices was deleted from the company’s server, the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Thursday.

Bosasa employee Richard le Roux told the commission — chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo — that he was instructed by the company’s chief executive Gavin Watson to delete all footage off the cameras and servers following VIP and VVIP guests to the business’s office park.

Le Roux currently works for an IT subsidiary of African Global Operations, formerly the Bosasa Group. Le Roux was served a summons by the commission.

He told the commission that he rarely watched the footage before deleting it. But on one occasion in 2015 he decided to take a look at the footage — which had captured a Saturday morning visit by Zuma, accompanied by Jacob Zuma Foundation chair Dudu Myeni and then deputy agriculture minister Bheki Cele.

According to Le Roux, he was instructed to delete the footage immediately.

During his earlier testimony, former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi detailed the alleged relationship between the company’s politically-connected chief executive and Zuma.

Agrizzi recounted how Watson had allegedly fostered a relationship with Zuma, whom he is said to have approached to help in shutting down an ongoing National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) case against Bosasa.

READ MORE: ‘Watson wanted to lobby Zuma for new NPA’ – Agrizzi

The case was the result of a 2009 investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into allegations of improper tenders awarded to Bosasa by the department of correctional services.

Agrizzi told the commission that monthly payments of R300 000 were made to the Jacob Zuma Foundation by Bosasa through Myeni.

According to Agrizzi, Myeni co-ordinated numerous meetings at Zuma’s Nkandla residence to discuss matters with the then president. Watson also allegedly met Zuma alone at Nkandla.

At one meeting, Watson allegedly raised the issue of the Bosasa investigation with Zuma, whom Agrizzi said agreed to facilitate a meeting between senior Hawks officials and Bosasa director Joe Gumede.

Agrizzi further elaborated his allegations that Myeni had handed him confidential NPA documents at a 2015 meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria.

The meeting took place at a VIP lounge on the sixth floor, Agrizzi said. A nervous Myeni allegedly produced a case docket relating to the NPA’s Bosasa investigation and asked Agrizzi not to take photographs of it.

But after realising that he would not have enough time to make written notes about the contents of the document, Agrizzi covertly photographed the document, the witness told the commission.

In the background of the photograph, Agrizzi also allegedly captured the pattern of the carpet at the Sheraton Hotel, an aspect of Agrizzi’s evidence that the commission’s legal team has corroborated.

READ MORE: Agrizzi — ‘I was caught in a cult of bribes’

At the meeting Watson asked Myeni to put the case to bed and requested that she speak to Zuma about this, Agrizzi said.

Myeni denied her purported ties to Bosasa, reportedly telling eNCA that Agrizzi is a racist and lying about her involvement.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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