KZN prisons boss speaks out after Bosasa allegations

2019-01-30 07:10
Mnikelwa Nxele. (Thuli Dlamini, Gallo Images, file)

Mnikelwa Nxele. (Thuli Dlamini, Gallo Images, file)

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Suspended KwaZulu-Natal prisons head Mnikelwa Nxele has spoken out after accusations of bribery were levelled against him at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture last week.

He was accused of taking over R50 000 a month in bribes from facilities management company, Bosasa. The allegations were made by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, coincidentally around the same time Nxele was suspended for an unrelated labour dispute.

OVERVIEW: 'I am still fearful of Gavin Watson' - Van Tonder testifies at #StateCaptureInquiry

On Tuesday, Nxele took the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) to the Labour Court in Durban to dispute his suspension.

Speaking to the media after the proceedings, he said he was suspended after disciplinary processes involving a manager emerged.

"It involves a manager who had been dismissed in 2014 and reinstated by the bargaining council in 2017 and resumed work in November 2018."

Unfortunate

READ: Agrizzi testimony like a vuvuzela keeping people up at night - Mbalula

Nxele said "certain processes" that we had undertaken inside the department that led up to the manager's suspension were being "looked at" to establish any discrepancies.

"At this stage, that [discrepancies] has not been established. For the sake of the investigation, they feel that I should not be at work. I came to court because facts are on the table on the matter. There is no basis for me to be placed on suspension."

He said it was unfortunate that his suspension was unfairly linked to Bosasa.

When asked about the Bosasa claims by Agrizzi, he said he was disappointed that the commission did not speak to him.

"I was uncomfortable without me being informed. They never told me I was in his testimony. I wrote to the commission after that. "

"My understanding is that the commission ought to have alerted me to this so I could be in a position to prepare for my participation and response to the allegation."

Nxele said he and the commission have been in discussions since. When asked if he took any bribes from Bosasa, he said: "I don't want to discuss matters of the commission outside the commission. That will be undermining processes."

Nxele is one of the latest high-ranking officials to be implicated in state capture. Last week he was accused of taking bribes of around R57 500 per month.

He was alleged to have influenced a plot to put undue pressure on former DCS national commissioner Vernie Petersen in 2007.

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Read more on:    bosasa  |  mnikelwa nxele  |  angelo agrizzi  |  durban  |  state capture inquiry  |  corruption  |  prisons
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