Former chief operating officer of Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi, started lifting the lid on corrupt and fraudulent activities that took place while he was at the company.
Agrizzi, who was testifying at the commission of inquiry into state capture’s first hearing of the year, was asked by Advocate Paul Pretorius why he had decided to come forward with his testimony after all this time. Agrizzi credited it to a near-death experience.
“I had a near-death experience where I was admitted to hospital and I had a tumour in my heart and I was in a coma. When I came out of the coma, myself and my family made a conscious decision that we would clean up where we had made mistakes,” he said.
Agrizzi, who was employed by Bosasa until December 15 2016, also said that corruption was so rife at the company that it became normalised.
“I’d become blunt and accepting about what was happening. I kept quiet and should have exposed what was happening from day one,” he said.
Agrizzi said that he hoped that other Bosasa employees would come forward with the truth.
According to the commission, Agrizzi had submitted evidence implicating several Bosasa officials, the National Prosecuting Authority and government officials. The evidence included audio recordings, video footage and photographs.
Part of the scathing pool of evidence that Agrizzi handed to investigators is an affidavit, which says that he had photographic evidence of how former South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni handed over confidential NPA documents to Agrizzi and Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson in 2015.
The documents were photographed and handed back to Myeni.
Agrizzi told the commission that he had received threatening phone calls, and as such the commission had to provide him with security.
Pretorius told inquiry chairperson deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo that he would have to decide if Agrizzi’s evidence and testimony was truthful. Zondo thanked him for coming forward.
Agrizzi threatened to come forward with evidence against Bosasa and government officials implicated in corrupt activities with Bosasa last year. Bosasa has secured government tenders amounting to billions of rands over the last decade.