In a report in Business Day on Monday, former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi’s lawyer is quoted as saying his client has decided to return to the witness stand at the state capture commission.
After his arrest earlier this year, Agrizzi’s legal advisers told him to stop potentially implicating himself, and as a result he decided not to testify at the Mokgoro inquiry investigating Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba and Advocate Lawrence Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office.
Although testimony at such an inquiry cannot be used directly for criminal prosecution, it can still help the state to build a case against the accused.
It’s understood Agrizzi and his co-accused will be appearing again on corruption charges on Wednesday after they were arrested in February in a case that has been pending for a decade.
Agrizzi’s lawyer told the publication that his client had decided to return to the Zondo commission to finish what he’d started and because “the truth must be exposed in relation to the corrupt activities … over all the years”.
Agrizzi will reportedly implicate another member of parliament and more government officials in North West.
His arrest was in connection to alleged corruption at his former company and the department of correctional services (DCS).
Agrizzi, out on R20,000 bail with his co-accused, last appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Court on February 6.
A draft charge sheet listed the former commissioner of the DCS, Linda Mti, as accused number one, with the former DCS CFO Patrick Gillingham, Agrizzi, former Bosasa CFO Andries Van Tonder, and Bosasa, Sondolo IT, and Phezulu Fencing (subsidiaries of Bosasa) as their co-accused.
The case was postponed to March 27 and the court instructed the accused to hand over their passports.
The Hawks said the sweeping high-profile arrests followed a marathon investigation in which almost R1.6 billion was said to have been misappropriated in the tender processes for the procurement of various services by the DCS. The tenders were awarded to Bosasa Operations (Pty) Ltd and its affiliated or subsidiary companies.
It was alleged that the officials received and accepted gifts in the form of cash, and also received financial assistance in acquiring properties, acquiring motor vehicles from dealers, other assets, and payments to travel agents for overseas travel.
Testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture by numerous former Bosasa employees and contractors, including Agrizzi and Van Tonder, implicated former officials at the DCS in the alleged corruption at the company and department, including Mti and Gillingham, as well as Bosasa’s CEO Gavin Watson.
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers. Background reporting, Makhosandile Zulu)