Agrizzi says he had more to tell Zondo

Though Bosasa executive-turned-whistleblower Angelo Agrizzi will miss his next court appearance on fraud charges next week, he is waiting for his lawyers to review his case, especially in light of Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s note in the first part of the state capture report. 

Zondo noted that though the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act has been law since 2004, only one prosecution was brought under it — State v Shaik and Others 2005 — yet the evidence given to the commission identifies multiple cases of corruption to which the Act applied. 

“The same is true of the Public Finance Management Act, which has been on the statute books for more than 20 years. The first prosecution under that Act appears to be the one which was initiated against Mr Agrizzi (who was not a civil servant).”

Agrizzi told the Mail & Guardian that he would not be able to attend his next appearance at the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court because of ill health. Strapped to an oxygen machine, Agrizzi faces charges of corruption, money laundering and fraud. He was arrested days after his revealing testimony before the state capture commission. 

Though the former chief operations officer at Bosasa blew the whistle on several high-ranking ANC officials who allegedly received bribes, had their houses renovated and their children’s school fees paid by the utility company, he was one of the first to be arrested for the graft that landed Bosasa R1.8-billion in government tenders. 

Agrizzi told the M&G that there was yet more that he felt unsafe to divulge at the state capture commission. 

“I was warned, warned not to talk out or they will deal with me. I could have taken the R50-million and run. I could have quite easily. The R50-million was offered to me in 2018. It’s in writing there on my website, ” said Agrizzi, after speaking in depth about the threats on his life, his deteriorating health and denying that he benefited from the bribes paid to government employees and ANC members. 

“All those kids got everything they wanted. All they had to do was to pick up the phone and call uncle Gavin [Watson] and Uncle Gavin would call Angelo to arrange A, B, C and D. And I just did it. I don’t deny that I did it. But I did it under the instruction of Gavin and it wasn’t for me to benefit.”

Though the first instalment of the Zondo report briefly mentions Agrizzi, the crux of the Bosasa corruption is expected to be dealt with in the third report. Zondo was scathing about the National Prosecuting Authority’s failure to adequately respond to state capture and went as far as calling it a “fundamental failure of a sovereign state function”. 

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Athandiwe Saba
Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

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