Hours after Zondo report shows massive Bosasa graft, Agrizzi files to have charges dropped

Hours after the third Zondo report detailed a slew of alleged corruption by senior ANC politicians, including former president Jacob Zuma, in dealings with logistics company Bosasa, its former executive, Angelo Agrizzi, filed an application on Wednesday to have his R800 000 fraud charges dismissed. 

Agrizzi, who again did not make it to the Johannesburg specialised commercial crimes court because of what his legal representative Manny Witz said was his debilitating respiratory illness, submitted an application for his two fraud charges to be withdrawn in order for him to focus on his health. 

The charges against the self-confessed racist and societal delinquent relate to the R800 000 bribe he allegedly gave to former ANC MP Vincent Smith “in exchange for his influence” so that Bosasa could score lucrative state contracts. 

Smith was the chairperson of the parliamentary oversight committee on correctional services at the time.

“Bosasa scored contracts totalling just over R1-billion from correctional services from 2004 to 2007,” said the Investigating Directorate, which is investigating and prosecuting the matter.

The directorate is a unit within the National Prosecuting Authority that was established in 2018 by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate and prosecute intricate commercial crimes. 

Because of delays caused by Agrizzi’s alleged health problems, his case was separated from that of Smith, who will return to court in April. 

Prosecutor Sandiswa Nkula-Nyoni indicated in court on Wednesday that the state would be opposing Agrizzi’s application for the withdrawal of the charges against him, and would reply to the application by 16 March. Oral arguments in the matter will be heard at the next court appearance on 1 April.

Meanwhile, Smith remains the only politician arrested for the alleged crimes committed by Bosasa, the details of which are contained in the third, four-volume instalment of reports from the state capture commission chaired by acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. 

In the latest report, Zondo asserted that there was enough evidence to prosecute Zuma for allegedly receiving gratifications after his 72nd birthday celebrations, which were paid for by Bosasa. 

Zuma, according to the report, used his influence to leak sensitive information related to criminal investigations into Bosasa flowing from the allegedly corrupt relationship the company had with the ANC and its senior leaders. 

“The investigation and prosecution were, indeed, successfully brought to a halt,” the report stated. 

Former Gauteng premier and water and sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane also received a raft of allegedly corrupt gratifications from Bosasa, paid for by Agrizzi, including a R50 000 a month cash benefit. 

Agrizzi testified to this during the commission’s hearing, but Mokonyane denied having received any cash from the infamous company during her testimony. 

But the report believed Agrizzi’s version of evidence, detailing how he was able to accurately describe the interior of Mokonyane’s Bryanston, Gauteng home in detail. 

In total, the Investigating Directorate has four cases enrolled in court related to alleged Bosasa crimes: the Smith and Agrizzi R800 000 bribery case, which was split; the R1.8-billion fraud and corruption matter involving three other accused for allegedly corrupt tenders awarded to Bosasa from 2004 and 2007; and the bribery claims against former Bosasa officials, Frans Vorster and Carlos Bonafacio, both of whom are accused of facilitating a R180 000 bribe to former correctional services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham.

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Khaya Koko
Khaya Koko is a journalist with a penchant for reading through legal documents braving the ravages of cold court benches to expose the crooked. He writes about social justice and human-interest stories. Most importantly, he is a card-carrying member of the Mighty Orlando Pirates.

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