Suspended Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Nomgcobo Jiba says she is “extremely displeased” because former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi will no longer testify at the Mokgoro inquiry.
The inquiry, headed by former Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, has been tasked with establishing whether Jiba and special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi are fit for office.
Inquiry spokesperson, Bongiwe Gambu, confirmed to News24 on Thursday that Agrizzi would no longer testify as expected.
“He has been advised about his constitutional rights in light of the pending serious criminal charges against him,” she said.
Gambu said Agrizzi told the inquiry in writing that, if his position changed, he will immediately inform the panel.
Agrizzi testified at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
During his testimony, he said cash was given to former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti, either by himself or Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, with the understanding that R100 000 was for Jiba and R10 000 for Mrwebi.
Mti would allegedly meet with Jiba and Mrwebi and discuss the investigation into Bosasa.
On occasion, cash would be handed over.
Mrwebi was the head of the commercial crimes unit of the NPA and reported to Jiba, who was the head of the National Prosecutions Service and later acted as the NDPP. Both have denied the allegations.
“The allegations made by Agrizzi must be disregarded in the Mokgoro [inquiry], unless such evidence is cross-examined here at the inquiry,” Jiba’s council Thabani Masuku, SC, submitted.
“My client’s rights must be balanced with that of others.. and it cannot be that those allegations should be left hanging,” Masuku added.
Masuku said that Jiba was prepared to test Agrizzi’s submissions in an effort to exonerate herself.
“My client’s future is in the hands of this inquiry, and it would have been only fair that she had her day at such a platform with Agrizzi,” Masuku said.
Mokgoro said that she would think about whether she would consider Agrizzi’s affidavit as evidence, even though he would no longer appear before her.
Earlier on Thursday, former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat took the stand.
He submitted that he did not understand why the NPA provisionally withdrew charges against former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
The Mokgoro inquiry heard that Dramat was frustrated by the lack of progress in reinstating the fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli.
“I was led to understand that once outstanding evidence [was] collected, the charges will be reinstated,” submitted Dramat.
Mdluli faced charges of fraud, theft and corruption for allegedly pillaging the Crime Intelligence slush fund.
But the charges were withdrawn in 2011.
In his submission, Dramat denied that he told Mrwebi he had spoken to the Auditor-General (AG) and that the AG had cleared concerns related to the Crime Intelligence secret service account.
However, with guns blazing, Mrwebi’s advocate, Mervyn Rip, accused Dramat of including certain averments in his affidavit to attack Mrwebi’s integrity.
Next up in the hot seat was deputy NDPP Nomvula Mokhatla who revealed that she was kept in the dark about high-profile cases Jiba had been involved in.
But that submission was questioned by Jiba’s council and, during cross examination, Mokhatla conceded that she was not always available to be briefed on some matters as she was frequently away on Special Investigations Unit (SIU) duties. She was the acting head of that unit.
Deputy NDPP Willie Hofmeyr is expected to continue with his marathon testimony on Friday.