News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
20 Jul 2020
4:01 pm

Nomvula Mokonyane accuses ‘ignorant, naive’ Agrizzi of lying to commission

Makhosandile Zulu

She says she believed Agrizzi had issues with Gavin Watson and so used the names linked to him in media reports and who were branded in a certain way to tarnish the late Bosasa CEO's image.

The former house chairperson who oversaw the an advisory board, Cedric Frolick, was expected to be replaced by Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Former minister of environmental affairs Nomvula Mokonyane on Monday told the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture that she and the late Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson never had a friendship but only related on politics, the past and ANC politics and implementing the governing party’s “mandate”.

Mokonyane appeared before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday to respond to allegations made by former Bosasa COO Angela Agrizzi, in particular, the features of her house which the latter identified at the commission after testifying that the controversial company had provided upgrades at the residence.

READ MORE: Bosasa gave Mokonyane, Myeni, Mantashe and more home makeovers

Mokonyane told Zondo that there is no wooden staircase in her house as identified by Agrizzi in his testimony, explaining that because of her health she cannot live with carpets or wooden floors.

The former minister disputed Agrizzi’s testimony that inside her house there is unutilised space and she also accused him of altering his submissions to the commission.

Mokonyane said the area Agrizzi claimed was unused had tables and chairs and in times of bereavement was used as an altar: “I’m very Catholic, chair.”

She told Zondo that Agrizzi has never been to her residence while she was there, adding that her relationship with Watson was not personal as she would invite neither him nor Agrizzi when hosting traditional ceremonies or entertaining friends.

“I would not invite Agrizzi, I would not invite Gavin … I have never had a relationship where I would entertain Gavin,” she told Zondo, explaining that she and the late Watson related on politics, the past and ANC politics and implementing the governing party’s “mandate”.

Zondo asked Mokonyane: “Why would [Agrizzi] go to these lengths to do this to you?”; “Why would he want to tarnish your image and put you in a bad light?” and go through great lengths in order to identify the features of her house.

In response, Mokonyane said this indicated Agrizzi’s desperation, which she said went beyond him identifying the features of her house but is also seen in his assumption that the popularity of a party as old as the ANC would rest on her shoulders, which she said smacks of Agrizzi’s ignorance and naivety.

She said she believed Agrizzi had issues with Watson and so used the names linked to him in media reports and who were branded in a certain way to tarnish the late Bosasa CEO’s image.

Mokonyane said Agrizzi had not denied that “he hates black people” and had said that he had an issue with her relationship with Watson.

She said she thought Watson trusted the wrong person in Agrizzi.

“I do believe he has a mission and his mission goes to the extent of saying I’m in charge of the African National Congress and its presidents,” Mokonyane said.

She further said: “Gavin never bought a coffin for my child, Gavin never buried my child, Bosasa never paid for the burial of my son.”

Mokonyane said Agrizzi’s desperation was also betrayed by that in testimony that Bosasa had paid for the funeral costs of her son’s burial, he had confused her two sons, adding that her children have had to bear the brunt of being linked to her.

She said Agrizzi must explain to the commission the motive behind his testimony, adding that she has never worked in a government department where Bosasa scored contracts with correctional services – which further showed that Agrizzi’s testimony stating that Bosasa maintained relations with her because of her influence amounted to nothing.

“I think the man is full of hatred,” Mokonyane said, adding, however, that she did not know why he would feel like that but that she thought he had an issue with Watson, “but as I have said, dead men tell no stories”.

Watch the proceedings live courtesy of the SABC:

ALSO READ: Mokonyane denies Bosasa catered for Zuma’s birthday parties on her request

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