Government mulls blacklisting Bosasa - report

2019-02-03 14:52
Angelo Agrizzi has testified before the State Capture Inquiry. (Alaister Russell, Sowetan, Gallo Images, file)

Angelo Agrizzi has testified before the State Capture Inquiry. (Alaister Russell, Sowetan, Gallo Images, file)

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The Department of Correctional Services intends blacklisting controversial government service provider Bosasa - now known as African Global Operation (AGO) - from doing business with the state, the Sunday Times reported.

Correctional services national commissioner Arthur Fraser reportedly wrote to Bosasa last week asking the company to give reasons why it should not be blacklisted.

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has heard sensational revelations over the last few weeks, detailing how Bosasa was able to get state contracts by allegedly bribing government officials.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) released a report in 2009, detailing bribes allegedly paid by Bosasa to correctional services officials in exchange for tenders. In January, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) called for the department to immediately cease work with the company.

The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that Bosasa received an estimated R12bn in about a decade from government.

It is estimated to have received R7.2bn from correctional services since 2003, and about R2bn from the Department of Home Affairs. The Justice and Constitutional Development Department paid Bosasa about R653m for services supposedly rendered, according to the newspaper.

According to the Sunday Times, Bosasa spokesperson Papa Leshabane confirmed receiving the letter from Fraser.

Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane told the Sunday Times that the company would be blacklisted once representations had been received from it and the department.

If blacklisted, the company will not be able to do business with any arms of state, according to the report.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha said on Friday that government was looking at how to get out of the contracts, particularly where it seemed as if unnecessary outsourcing of services was taking place, News24 reported.

Masutha said national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole had advised him that the Bosasa contracts were under review.

Masutha said he had been particularly concerned about outsourced catering services provided by Bosasa.

"I look forward to a report soon from him as to the prospects of us extricating ourselves from this and restoring our own in-sourcing of this service," he said.

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