Report: Prison boss was bribed
Johannesburg - A shock report by the
Special Investigating Unit (SIU) claims a mansion was built for former prisons boss
Linda Mti by a company that received tenders worth R1.5 billion on his
The report nails facilities management group Bosasa,
headed by the politically connected businessman Gavin Watson, for
bribing Mti and the former chief financial officer of the prisons
department, Patrick Gillingham.
City Press is in possession of a
copy of the report that has been kept under wraps after it was handed to
correctional services minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula by the SIU in
The SIU found the existence of an “improper and
corrupt” relationship between senior correctional services officials and
the Bosasa group, which has received massive tenders since 2004 to
provide catering services, security equipment, televisions and modern
fencing to prisons.
Bosasa has links to senior government and ANC
officials, including National Intelligence Agency boss Gibson Njenje,
who was one of the company’s founding members and a former chairperson.
group also benefits from massive transport and justice department
tenders, and is running the Lindela repatriation camp for the home
The SIU report claims that:
department of correctional services (DCS), under Mti, used savings from
the fund for the compensation of prison staff to pay for the Bosasa
- Gillingham received cash, cars, a kitchen and payments towards a house from Bosasa;
- Gillingham carried business cards indicating he was a “consultant” to a Bosasa affiliate while he was working for the DCS;
- Bosasa was involved in drafting tender documents for contracts it won
in a way that gave it a clear advantage in the awarding of these
- Mti, who was head of security for the 2010 Fifa
World Cup, appointed Gillingham as acting chief financial officer in
2004 shortly after allegations surfaced that he (Gillingham) submitted
fraudulent subsistence and travel claims, had an affair with his
secretary and intimidated staff.
The SIU concludes that there was
an “improper and corrupt relationship” between Gillingham, Mti and the
Bosasa group of companies.
Bosasa has previously denied acting
illegally and brought a court challenge against the investigation. The
SIU undertook not to “interrogate material witnesses” (including Bosasa
officials and the company’s auditors) until the court case was
Mti and Gillingham previously denied taking bribes.
Mti said in November 2009: “I can tell you that there’s no money that
went into my own pocket.”
How the SIU did it
various allegations surfaced in the media relating to the alleged
irregular awarding of multimillion-rand contracts by the Department of
Correctional Services (DCS) to the Bosasa group of companies.
Later in 2006 the Public Service Commission and the Auditor-General
referred specific allegations relating to the Bosasa contracts to the
Special Investigating Unit (SIU) for further investigation.
November 2007 former president Thabo Mbeki issued a proclamation
authorising the SIU to investigate tender irregularities at the DCS.
The SIU employed a multi-disciplinary team of forensic lawyers,
forensic accountants, forensic investigators and cyber forensic experts
to conduct the investigation.
The SIU obtained 28 affidavits, the majority from correctional services officials.
A former Bosasa employee, who is unnamed in the report, provided the
SIU with a crucial affidavit, describing how Bosasa influenced tender
In December 2008 the SIU made mirror images of Bosasa’s
computer servers and the laptops of Bosasa employees Angelo Agrizzi,
Andries van Tonder and Frans Vorster.
The SIU discovered that a data
deletion utility had been used to wipe data from the servers, but the
unit managed to retrieve data by employing advanced data-recovery