/ 25 February 2019

Masutha to shed light on Bosasa contracts

Minister Michael Masutha.
Minister Michael Masutha. (Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images)

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha is expected to provide an update on the contracts between the department of correctional services and Bosasa, as well as other irregular contracts.

Masutha will do so in a media briefing at 10am following allegations revealed at the commission of inquiry into state capture, where officials within the justice and correctional services portfolios were implicated.

At the beginning of February, Masutha said the department is reviewing all its contracts with Bosasa and that a forensic investigation into whether tenders were irregularly awarded has been commissioned.

Allegations of corruption at Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, have been making the rounds in the media since 2006, when Beeld began reporting on the relationship between the facilities management company and the department of correctional services.

This was followed by an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into Bosasa and its alleged improper conduct relating to tenders the company was awarded.

The SIU’s report was finalised in 2009 and found that Bosasa officials had paid bribes to former prisons boss Linda Mti and the department of correctional services’ then chief financial officer, Patrick Gillingham, in order to secure tenders from the department.

Bosasa reportedly received nearly R3-billion in contracts from the department.

In 2009, the Mail & Guardian revealed that confidential documents were leaked to Bosasa by Gillingham and that the company also allegedly had access to tender documents for major prison projects worth hundreds of millions of rands before they were advertised.

READ MORE: Prisons graft: Bosasa’s empire of influence

In damning testimony before the commission, former Bosasa chief operating officer (COO) Angelo Agrizzi detailed how he personally paid Gillingham bribes.

“Most definitely money was paid to Patrick Gillingham. I was involved,” Agrizzi told the commission.

The SIU had previously said Gillingham was paid “at least” R2.1-million in bribes, including cars for him and his children as well as air tickets.

According to Aggrizi’s testimony, Mti’s payment allegedly included free air tickets, hotel accommodation and payment for the design of his luxury home in Midrand. Mti was also allegedly paid R65 000 a month by Bosasa.

Agrizzi also testified that the bribe money paid to the department of correctional services had to be increased when Tom Moyane became the department’s national commissioner. According to Agrizzi, an additional R250 000 having to be paid to the department monthly.

READ MORE: Bosasa and the Moyane money

Moyane also reportedly blocked treasury recommendations to have Bosasa blacklisted from conducting business with the government, confidential government documents reveal.

READ MORE: Moyane blocked the treasury’s bid to blacklist Bosasa, records show

Another Bosasa official Richard le Roux told the commission that the company provided home security upgrades to deputy minister of justice and correctional services Thabang Makwetla who is expected to appear at the briefing with Masutha.

READ MORE: Zondo commission — Bosasa still in the spotlight?