I've learnt my lesson, I'm no longer a racist, Agrizzi tells Zondo Commission

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Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi at an earlier court appearance.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi at an earlier court appearance.
OJ Koloti, Gallo Images
  • Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi appeared before the Zondo Commission to be cross-examined by businessman Kevin Wakeford.
  • Agrizzi had implicated Wakeford as a facilitator and benefactor in some of Bosasa's untoward business dealings.
  • Wakeford previously accused Agrizzi of being a racist and narcissist. 

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi faced an intense cross-examination from businessman Kevin Wakeford's counsel on Thursday afternoon.

It started with advocate Reg Willis asking Agrizzi if it was possible that his evidence concerning Wakeford was fallible or if he had made a mistake in his testimony.

Willis wanted a yes or no answer from Agrizzi. But he refused to answer.

"You can't ask people yes or no questions. It is wrong," Agrizzi, who appeared via a video link, said.

READ | Kodwa allegedly received R45k from EOH boss a day before he was asked to intervene in tender, Zondo hears

Willis moved on to ask him about confessing to being a racist when he testified before the commission in January 2019.

Agrizzi said:

I've learnt my lesson ... I'm no longer a racist. There is no longer even a racist thing in my mind.

He added he did not despise Wakeford, saying: "I'm so confused by the fact that Mr Wakeford is annoyed with me or is upset with me, and I hated him. I never hated him. Not at all."

Agrizzi claimed all he ever did was to tell the commission the truth.

But Willis hit back, saying: "Everything you've just said as well as everything you say in your affidavit, I'm going to demonstrate to the chairman … is nothing but a twisting of the truth, a fabric of lies. There is nothing you say that Mr Wakeford accepts." Wakeford previously accused Agrizzi of being a racist and narcissist who wanted to see the company liquidated for his benefit.

Benefactor

He denied allegations by Agrizzi he had negotiated a contract between Bosasa and the Department of Home Affairs, News24 reported.  

Agrizzi had implicated Wakeford as a facilitator and benefactor in some of Bosasa's untoward business dealings.

Wakeford worked as a consultant, on a monthly retainer of R50 000, at Bosasa for nearly 10 years.

Agrizzi had alleged Wakeford assisted with problems the company had with SARS and also helped negotiate and influence the contract between Bosasa and the department regarding the controversial management of the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp. 

READ | Sacked SACAA manager tells Zondo Commission: 'I cannot sacrifice a 30-year career for an alarm system'

"The allegations made against me by Agrizzi and [Frans] Vorster have been fabricated and the facts twisted, so as to suggest corruption and fraud in the public sector, and to bring me within the mandate of the commission. However, there is no evidence to support these fabrications," said Wakeford at the time. 

He added Agrizzi did not testify because he wanted to reveal the truth but rather to force the company into liquidation so he could take over the clients using his own company. 

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