Corruption-accused former ANC MP Vincent Smith is due back in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court sitting in Palm Ridge for his bribery case.
Smith and former Bosasa chief operating officer (COO), Angelo Agrizzi, were charged last year with corruption for gratifications in the form of security upgrades made to Smith’s Gauteng home by Bosasa.
Smith also faces additional charges of fraud for alleged payments made to his company, Euroblitz, in 2015 and 2016, which the state believes were bribes from Bosasa to silence his opposition to the company during parliamentary committee meetings.
The former MP served and chaired on the parliamentary portfolio committee that had oversight of the Department of Correctional Services while Bosasa was under scrutiny for winning contracts worth more than R1 billion from the department, amid allegations that the contracts were corruptly awarded.
Smith has pleaded not guilty and maintains the money was a loan from Agrizzi, which Agrizzi denies.
Seperation of case
During his last court appearance in July, the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) Investigating Directorate (ID) notified the court of more charges to be added against Smith in the same case.
The ID also made an application under section 157(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act to have the case of Agrizzi and Smith separated. The Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court granted the application to not infringe on Smith’s constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial.
This was due to Agrizzi’s lawyer having submitted a medical report that Agrizzi is currently unfit to stand trial. The former Bosasa COO had a heart attack in hospital in October 2020.
The heart attack happened a week after the Specialised Commercialised Crime Court denied Agrizzi bail for allegedly making payments to Smith. The decision was later overturned and he was granted bail by the Johannesburg High Court.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe