Agrizzi will no longer testify at Mokgoro inquiry as expected

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Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi (File, Netwerk24)
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi (File, Netwerk24)

Ex-Bosasa boss turned whistleblower Angelo Agrizzi will no longer appear before the Justice Mokgoro inquiry on Friday. 

The commission's spokesperson, Bongiwe Gambu, confirmed to News24 on Thursday that Agrizzi will no longer testify as expected.  

"He has been advised about his constitutional rights in light of the pending serious criminal charges against him," she said.  

Gambu said Agrizzi told the commission in writing that should his position change, he will immediately inform the panel.

READ: Agrizzi revelations nothing new to Hawks investigators

Last month, Agrizzi testified at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture that suspended deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba accepted bribes and blocked prosecutions.

The Mokgoro inquiry has been tasked with establishing whether Jiba and suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi are fit for office.

Agrizzi revealed how confidential National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) documents were leaked to Bosasa, particularly to CEO Gavin Watson, by Linda Mti, the former correctional services commissioner. Mti allegedly got the documents from Jiba and Jackie Lepinka.

He said that in 2013, the lead prosecutor in the Bosasa matter, Marijke de Kock, wrote a memo in which she explained that she believed she would be ready to prosecute some of those involved in the Bosasa tenders-for-bribes scandal by the end of 2013. This never happened.

Agrizzi further claimed that in exchange for the documents and for the case against the company to be shut down, Bosasa executives paid cash to Mti which he would then pass on to Jiba, Lepinka and Mrwebi, who was De Kock's boss.

Jiba allegedly received R100 000, Mrwebi R10 000 and Lepinka R20 000 every month. All three have denied the allegations.

A recording of a meeting on May 8, 2015, was also played at the Zondo commission.

READ: Agrizzi testimony: What you need to know from day 7

In it, someone who sounds like Watson can be heard bragging about how he planned to speak to former president Jacob Zuma about the appointment of a new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), who would "protect" Jiba. A month later, Shaun Abrahams was appointed as NDPP.

Agrizzi also alleged that during meetings with Mti, Jiba gave advice that would help him and Bosasa get the case against the company thrown out.

Last week, Agrizzi, together with former Bosasa chief financial officer Andries van Tonder, former Bosasa senior staffer Frans Vorster, current Bosasa employee Carlos Bonifacio and former correctional services top brass Patrick Gillingham and Linda Mti were also arrested and charged. 

The charges, which include numerous counts of violating the Public Finance Management Act and contravening the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, stem from a decade-old Special Investigating Unit report handed over to the NPA in 2009, which found an improper and corrupt relationship existed between Bosasa, Gillingham and Mti, News24 reported.  

They were released on R20 000 bail each and are scheduled to appear again in court on March 27. 


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