Agrizzi’s cross-examination postponed as curators fight over Bosasa liquidation

Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi during his testimony at the Raymond Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: Alaister Russell/Sowetan/Gallo Images
Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi during his testimony at the Raymond Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: Alaister Russell/Sowetan/Gallo Images

A dispute between curators handling the Bosasa liquidation has led to the postponement of the cross examination of former Bosasa executives Angelo Agrizzi and Frans Vorster.

The two were expected to be cross-examined by former Armaments Corporation of South Africa chief executive Kevin Wakeford at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday.

After the commencement of proceedings, commission evidence leader, Advocate Paul Pretorius, informed the commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that Agrizzi and Vorster intended to apply for a postponement to their cross-examinations.

He said this was as a result of the parties disagreeing on factual matters contained on records currently under the control of one or more curators of the company currently under liquidation.

Pretorius said “part of the disagreement between Agrizzi and Voster on the one hand and Wakeford on the other relates to factual matters of which there should be records in the Bosasa documents, documents which were at present under the control of one or other curators.”

He added that the curators were engaged in a dispute “as to who is the rightful curator by law to handle the matter.”

“This dispute is set to be resolved by the Supreme Court of Appeal later in November when the appeal comes before it,” said Pretorius.

Wakeford challenged the application for a postponement, however, after a short adjournment during which the two legal teams met a decision was arrived at to postpone the matter.

Zondo granted the postponement without announcing a new date for the cross-examination.

Pretorius informed Zondo that the commission’s investigators had attempted get the relevant documentation on which the dispute lays.

“The investigation team issues summonses as far back as June but the execution of those summons was resisted by the curators on the basis that the dispute had to be resolved before a curator properly appointed could release the documentation,” he said.

The cross examination was scheduled for Wednesday by Zondo with the understanding that “all parties and their lawyers would be available” and ready to commence with the proceedings.

Wakeford was granted permission to cross-examine Agrizzi and former Bosasa head of central business, Frans Vorster after the two implicated the former in bribery and corruption.

During his tell-all testimony before the commission earlier in the year said Wakeford revived a R100 000 monthly fee from Bosasa to “resolve its South African Revenue Service issues”.

He also accused Wakeford of securing government contracts through “improper conduct” for Bosasa as well as instilling a culture of bribery and corruption at the highest level of Armscor’s executive.

These allegations were corroborated by Voster when he also gave his testimony before the commission.

Wakeford was among many people including Senior ANC and former government officials, ANC chairperson and Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, former minister Nomvula Mokonyane, former president Jacob Zuma’s ally Dudu Myeni, politicians and unnamed journalists who benefited from Bosasa, according to Agrizzi’s testimony.

Wakeford has previously confirmed that he worked as a consultant for Bosasa, now known as African Global Group, for eight years. But he has stressed that he declared his working relationship with the company to the government.

Following the implication, Wakeford was placed on special leave from his position a tenure which later ran its course in April.

Wakeford seem set to gets the first crack of the whip, at cross-examining Agrizzi and poking more holes in the former Bosasa chief operation’s officer’s jaw-dropping testimony.

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