State capture commission investigators confirm Bosasa witnesses’ testimony

Former chief operating officer of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi’s testimony at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture depicts our state of corruption at high levels.
Former chief operating officer of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi’s testimony at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture depicts our state of corruption at high levels.

Investigators working on the state capture inquiry have corroborated some of the evidence recently submitted by whistleblowers before the commission.

The verified evidence was that of former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi and Richard le Roux, who is still employed by the company that is now known as African Global Operations.

Investigator Frank Dutton was the first investigator in the hot seat on Tuesday.

He attested to the evidence given by Agrizzi, who alleged that he and Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson met with former South African Airways chairperson Duyu Myeni at the Sheraton hotel on September 23 2015.

Agrizzi claimed that at the meeting Myeni had given the Bosasa executives confidential SA Police Service anti-corruption task team documents related to the progress of the active criminal investigation into corruption allegations against Bosasa.

“Having met Agrizzi on December 18 2018 at his home, he showed me a series of photographs of documents he claimed to be evidence handed to him by former South African Airways chairperson Duyu Myeni.

“On closer inspection, it was evident that the edges of the images taken had a distinct pattern. It looked as if Agrizzi had taken the documents, placed them on the carpet and taken the photographs,” said Dutton.

He also added that, besides the images, Agrizzi had also described in detail the sixth floor of the Sheraton hotel, the location where he said the meeting had taken place.

Dutton testified that he went to the hotel on December 21 2018 to verify whether the carpet pattern was as captured in the image and if the sixth floor was as described by Agrizzi.

“I was accompanied by security to the sixth floor. On stepping out of the lift I noticed that there was a dining and refreshment area. To the left there was an L-shaped sitting area just as Mr Agrizzi had described it,” said Dutton.

He went on to say he then observed the carpet and compared it to the photographs and concluded that this was indeed the same pattern.

He took pictures of the carpet with his phone to compare with the photographs.

Dutton testified that the investigations team also interviewed the general manager of the Sheraton.

In a signed affidavit to the commission, the general manager verified that Myeni was booked at the hotel from September 22 and she checked out on September 24.

Dutton also revealed that after inspecting Agrizzi’s phone, the investigative team concluded that the date that the images were taken was September 23 2015 at 10:37.

Next on the stand was investigator Patrick Mlambo, whose duty it was to verify Le Roux’s testimony before the commission.

Richard le Roux, Zondo
Richard le Roux, Zondo

Mlambo testified that, before his testimony at the commission, Le Roux took him to premises where the “special projects” were carried out, referring to the houses of ministers, MPs, magistrates and other high-profile officials which were revamped at Bosasa’s expense.

Mlambo testified that Le Roux took him to four properties, solely relying on his memory from being part of the team that installed and maintained these houses.

“Le Roux took me to the house which he identified as belonging to [Environmental Affairs Minister] Nomvula Mokonyane. The inspection led Le Roux to conclude that the cameras were still there and were the ones that Bosasa installed.

“The second inspection was done at the house belonging to [Pretoria chief magistrate] Desmond Nair. The property is in Pretoria. The cameras were still there during inspection,” said Mlambo.

He also said Le Roux took him to deputy minister of justice Thabang Makwetla’s property and one that belonged to member of Parliament Vincent Smith’s family trust.

On both properties the initial cameras installed under the Bosasa special projects had been removed and replaced with different one testified Mlambo.

“The electric fencing, according to Le Roux, however, appeared to be the same as what was installed by Bosasa,” said Mlambo.

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