News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
28 Mar 2019
5:12 pm

Some Bosasa liquidation documents destroyed, claims Agrizzi

Makhosandile Zulu

Agrizzi says some staff members were frogmarched off the company premises by armed guards for providing information to him.

Head of the corruption accused facilities management company, BOSASA, Angelo Agrizzi speaks at the State Capture Commission in Parktown, 16 January 2019. Picture - Neil McCartney

Evidence leader on Thursday at the commission of inquiry into state capture Advocate Paul Pretorius asked former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi if he had any knowledge of concerning allegations that at the time of the controversial company’s liquidation – in particular, when documents were returned to the company from the liquidators – documents were destroyed.

Agrizzi said he has been informed about this and that he, in turn, reported the allegation to the liquidators and the commission’s legal team.

In February some of South Africa’s major financial institutions formally notified African Global Operations (Bosasa) that they would be terminating the company’s accounts, according to a statement from the company.

The banks reportedly cited reputational risk as their reason for cutting ties.

Bosasa’s statement at the time confirmed they would be applying for voluntary liquidation after their banks sent them formal notification of the closure of their accounts.

But the company later submitted an affidavit as part of an application to reverse their voluntary liquidation. The urgent application was filed at the High Court in Johannesburg.

The court found that a board decision by Bosasa to place it and its many subsidiaries in liquidation was not valid, reversing all the decisions taken.

The liquidators were given 12 hours to give back control to Bosasa’s directors. The liquidators then appealed this decision, which is still before the court.

On Thursday, Agrizzi said: “The problem we have, chair, is that we want to have this thing sorted out and we want to clean up, and we need to open it up.” He added that although the process to “clean up” would not be easy it had to be carried out.

Agrizzi also told the commission about some staff at the company who had been frogmarched out of Bosasa offices by armed guards.

He said it happened to anyone thought to have given information to Agrizzi, saying these staff members were accosted and removed from the company, or were suspended.

He said some of those staff members had been elderly ladies and some young men who were escorted off the company premises by armed guards in full view of other staff members to instil fear in the remainder so they would not become whistleblowers.

(Additional reporting Charles Cilliers, Daniel Friedman and ANA)

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