WATCH: 'Ja boetie...and R900K next week' – Zondo inquiry hears from Bosasa bag man

2019-02-05 20:39

Yet more explosive testimony before the state capture commission on Tuesday revealed the identity of a man who delivered cash to Bosasa, which was in turn used to pay bribes to government officials and ministers. 

Greg John Lawrence took the witness stand for a brief spell before lunch, but during his testimony three damning videos were shown, which he took, of cash being dropped off at Bosasa's Krugersdorp head office. 

The videos show Bosasa finance department employee Jacques van Zyl collecting a box from Lawrence and his associate, known only as Jason. He testified that the box was filled with cash and videos of other occasions showed bundles of R100 notes in another box. 

Lawrence claimed he was unable to recall the time period he was responsible for delivering the cash on behalf of his employer, Gregg Lacon-Allin, and his company, Equal Trade 4, or estimate a total amount of cash delivered.

However, Bosasa sources who have knowledge of the matter claim that Lawrence undertook the cash deliveries over a period of two years and may have delivered up to R200m during the time period. 

News24 was unable to independently verify the amounts. 

Simple scheme

The scheme was simple. Lawrence managed a wholesale alcohol aspect of Equal Trade and was largely paid in cash by his clients. The banks would charge up to 2% cash deposit fees, which was "the largest cost to the business". When Lacon-Allin approached Lawrence in around 2012 to rather hand the cash to Bosasa, which would then pay the amount plus a commission to Equal Trade via EFT, he saw it as an opportunity to save the business money. 

The videos he took with his Blackberry cellphone show cash being dropped off at Bosasa, confirming testimony by former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi and former chief financial officer Andries van Tonder.

Van Tonder and Agrizzi explained, in varying levels of detail, that Equal Trade would invoice Bosasa for foodstuffs delivered and Bosasa would pay Equal Trade via bank transfer. No foodstuffs would be delivered, but cash. The purchase orders generated by Bosasa's accounts department to cover the payments in the books, were fictitious. 

The remainder of Tuesday was taken up two investigators working for the commission, Frank Dutton and Themba 'Pat' Mlambo, who gave evidence.

Dutton revealed how the commission had confirmed details of Agrizzi's testimony relating to a meeting he had with former SAA chair Dudu Myeni and Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria. During the meeting,  Agrizzi photographed confidential documents (correspondence between the police and the National Prosecuting Authority relating to the ongoing Bosasa investigation).

His pictures showed the carpet of the sixth floor of the Sheraton, which Dutton was able to verify was in fact, the same as the one in Agrizzi's pictures. 

Dutton's team also confirmed with the general manager of the Sheraton that Dudu Myeni had in fact stayed at the hotel on the same day that Agrizzi said the meeting took place – September 23, 2015.

The final witness for the day was Pat Mlambo, also an investigator with the commission. He revealed that by Bosasa employee Richard le Roux took him to four properties belonging to Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Deputy Justice Minister Thabang Makwetla, Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair and ANC MP Vincent Smith.

Le Roux testified last week that Bosasa had paid for security upgrades at these and other properties, particularly belonging to Myeni ,and ANC national chairman and Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe.

Mlambo told the commission Le Roux took him to these four properties and explained what was installed at which home. In some cases, electric fences Bosasa had installed were still in place.

The commission is expected to resume on Monday, February 11.


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