WATCH: Did Bosasa staff remove CCTV system from Vincent Smith's home?

2018-09-04 18:15

Video footage obtained by News24 may cast doubt on top ANC MP Vincent Smith's denial that controversial facilities management company Bosasa installed a high-end CCTV system at his Roodepoort home, valued at R200 000, free of charge.

CCTV footage – captured by the same system allegedly installed by Bosasa – shows three men believed to be employees of a Bosasa subsidiary company, Sondolo IT, arriving at Smith's home on January 10, 2018, and removing the cameras.

Sources close to the matter told News24 that when current Bosasa directors became aware of former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi's intention to blow the whistle, they scrambled to remove their systems from Smith and other individuals' homes.

Internally it was branded "Operasie Skoonmaak" (Operation Clean Up), News24 understands.

One of the clips obtained by News24 shows Smith in his garden on December 22, 2017, just weeks before the "clean-up" team apparently arrived.

Smith confirmed it was him in the footage and confirmed that Bosasa employees had assisted him to "upgrade" his existing system.

He then said he had nothing to add when News24 contacted him on Tuesday and informed him that the footage would be published. Smith was shown the footage on Saturday.

ALSO READ: ANC rallies around MP Vincent Smith after controversial Bosasa payments

The upgrades were required due to security concerns after Smith became the chairperson of the ad hoc parliamentary committee which probed issues at the SABC, he explained.

Smith maintains he paid for the upgrades himself and denies that any cameras were removed or that any new ones were installed. He did, however, confirm that he had approached Agrizzi for assistance, who in turn had dispatched Bosasa staff to his home.

But according to a sworn statement by a former Bosasa employee, he was instructed by Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson to install the equipment, and an electric fence, at Smith's home.

News24 was asked not to name the employee who gave the statement, for safety reasons.

The statement implicates several high ranking-politicians and government officials, including two ministers, who allegedly received similar CCTV systems and other benefits from Bosasa.

News24 is in the process of verifying the information.

Smith expected to appear before parliamentary and ANC committees

Bosasa, which now trades as African Global Operations, denied it had installed or removed camera equipment at Smith's home.

The company has secured more than R10bn in government contracts since 2003.

"We are aware, from interaction with the said staff, that they were instructed by Angelo Agrizzi to go to Mr Smith's house to look at the security equipment at his house and provide advice on possible upgrades," Bosasa said in an official response.

Since the publication of the first story, News24 has been sent evidence of Smith interacting with a Bosasa employee via text message regarding the alarm and CCTV system.

"Spoke to Gavin (Watson) on Sunday and this morning about moving camera. He has no problem. Regards," Smith wrote on March 28, 2017.

News24 reported on Sunday how Smith received two cash payments totalling R671 000 from Bosasa.

Read the article here: Top ANC MP Vincent Smith got cash, CCTV

He has denied knowledge that the money came from Bosasa, saying he had entered into a loan agreement with Agrizzi.

Smith now faces a probe by the parliamentary ethics committee and the ANC's integrity committee over the payments and the CCTV system. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Smith said he was convinced he would be cleared of wrongdoing.

Read more on:    bosasa  |  vincent smith  |  corruption

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