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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

State must ensure Agrizzi is safely taken to mental institution for evaluation, court rules

Agrizzi appeared virtually before Judge Makhoba on Thursday.

The Pretoria High Court has ruled that former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi be referred for mental observation to determine his fitness to stand trial in the R1.8 billion Bosasa and Correctional Services Department (DCS) matter.

Agrizzi appeared virtually before Judge Makhoba on Thursday.

The case is in connection with fraud and corruption charges Agrizzi faces related to four tenders, valued at over R1.8 billion, awarded to Bosasa and its subsidiaries by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) between August 2004 and 2007.

The contracts alleged to have been obtained through corruption were for rendering catering and training services, installing CCTV cameras, installing perimeter fencing and supplying a CCTV system and monitoring equipment at prisons.

Agrizzi has been charged along with his three co-accused, former DCS commissioner Linda Mti, former DCS chief financial officer (CFO) Patrick Gillingham and former Bosasa CFO Andries Van Tonder.

According to the NPA, Judge Makhoba said it was not for the court to decide whether a person is mentally fit to stand trial.

“Instead, it is for the professionals to decide. The judge also declared that it’s the state’s responsibility to ensure Agrizzi is safely taken to a mental institution and that he takes his medication,” said the NPA.

The matter has been postponed to 31 October 2023 for the results of mental fitness for Agrizzi.

Agrizzi has failed to appear in court several times due to his ailing health since he suffered a heart attack on 21 October 2020.

Earlier this year, Agrizzi’s advocate, Mannie Witz, insisted his client could not attend court proceedings because of a respiratory condition and that he requires oxygen therapy.

Witz has argued that Agrizzi should instead be allowed to appear in court virtually, while the state maintained that court proceedings cannot continue without the accused present.

NOW READ: False invoices, money laundering, bribes: How Bosasa captured the powerful

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