The former auditor of controversial Bosasa, Peet Venter, told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday that he would be instructed by the company’s former COO, Angelo Agrizzi, and former CFO, Andries van Tonder, to inflate invoices to obtain a commission for the three of them.
Venter sourced the services of Tax Risk Management (TRM) Services, owned by Dr Daniel Erasmus, to assist with dealing with a Sars investigation into SeaArk Africa – a Bosasa subsidiary, an aquaculture project started by Bosasa in 2005 in the Eastern Cape.
However, the top executives at Bosasa were concerned about making use of TRM because Erasmus was a well-known tax litigator and making use of his services would draw unwanted attention to the controversial company.
This led Bosasa officials to request Venter to contract TRM’s services himself, which he did by using a dormant company owned by a relative – Miotto Trading and Advisory.
TRM would invoice Miotto and in turn, the latter company would invoice Bosasa, however, following instruction from Agrizzi and Van Tonder, Venter inflated prices on the invoices from Miotto to Bosasa so the three – Venter, Agrizzi, and Van Tonder – could obtain a commission, Venter said.
This continued from 2013 until December 2016 when Agrizzi left Bosasa.
Venter’s testimony continues: