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WRAP | Bosasa directors Leshabane, Gumede must be prosecuted for 'corrupt' ANC 'war room' deal

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Former president Jacob Zuma with Bosasa's Gavin Watson. (Supplied)
Former president Jacob Zuma with Bosasa's Gavin Watson. (Supplied)
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01 March 21:59

Judge Zondo finds that prima facie evidence of corruption has been established against former Bosasa directors Papa Leshabane and Joe Gumede with regards to the ANC "war room" donation in 2014.

The company corruptly turned its Krugersdorp office into a "war room" for the governing party's election campaign.

Zondo finds that this was a corrupt benefit to the ANC and recommends that the ANC officials involved in this deal be further investigated.

- Adriaan Basson

01 March 21:38

Here is essentially, the core of what Bosasa was, in Zondo's words: "Mr Agrizzi, along with other witnesses, testified and demonstrated that Bosasa (and the Watson family) established a reasonably well-organised network of well-placed, well-connected and powerful people whose loyalty was secured with financial and other material incentives and bribes.

"It was through this network they were able to promote and protect the private interests of Bosasa by irregular procurement and practices to extract money from the state in very substantial amounts," Zondo finds.

"In Mr Agrizzi's experience, every one of the contracts in which Bosasa was involved was tainted with bribes and corruption.

"Where contracts were not awarded as a result of corruption, corruption would creep in once they had been awarded, to ensure their retention and their extension or renewal.

"These contracts spanned, at least, a 17-year period," he adds.

- Kyle Cowan

01 March 21:29

The family of the late Gavin Watson, who Agrizzi described as "the godfather of Bosasa", benefitted from the corruption perpetrated by the company, Zondo finds.

"The evidence reveals that the Watson family was involved in Bosasa's affairs at a high-level, at times in the day-to-day activities, as well as in exerting various forms of pressure or influence on others, to their and Bosasa's benefit."

The Watson family, particularly Gavin's children Lindsay and Roth, benefitted from "the facilitation of the unlawful awarding of tenders".

- Kyle Cowan

01 March 21:08

IMPORTANT: Judge Zondo finds that there is "substantial corroboration" for the "main pillars" of former Bosasa chief operating office Angelo Agrizzi's evidence before the commission.

This is important in light of criticism levelled against Agrizzi by former colleagues and those who implicated.

Zondo is critical of attempts by Agrizzi to portray "a less corrupt version of himself" and says his motives to spill the beans "may have been mixed ones"... his disclosures follows a breakdown in relations between him and Gavin Watson "and, if he could somehow avoid prosecution, might have advanced his own business ambitions".

This will assist Agrizzi in his attempts to negotiate a plea bargain with the state.

- Adriaan Basson

01 March 21:05

Zondo makes a recommendation that Thabang Makwetla the deputy minister of defence and military veterans be investigated for possible corruption in accepting the installation of a security system at his home by Bosasa.

Makwetla paid Bosasa R25 000 for the security system, well below the quoted R90 000, and only after the existence of the system had been made public - by News24.

- Kyle Cowan

01 March 20:54

In respect of Andile Ramaphosa, President Cyril Ramaphosa's son, Zondo also declines to make any findings because Agrizzi never implicated him in wrongdoing before the Commission.

News24's own reporting on the issue has found, however, that within the broader Bosasa modus operandi, especially in terms of securing influence, Andile Ramaphosa was a prime target for Bosasa to secure.

We reported how Ramaphosa attempted to come clean on his dealings with Bosasa, but he had netted an estimated R1.3m more than the R2m he had claimed. We also showed that Bosasa started paying money to his company, Blue Crane, two months before they had signed a contract.

- Kyle Cowan

READ MORE

01 March 20:42

Zondo makes a strong recommendation against Parliament house chairperson and ANC MP, Cedrick Frolick, who is alleged to have accepted cash payments in exchange for his facilitating a meeting between Bosasa and former ANC MP, Vincent Smith.

Smith and former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi are already facing criminal charges in respect of corruption around Bosasa - Smith, as then chairperson of the correctional services portfolio commitee - went 'soft' on Bosasa and its contracts with the department, allegedly in exchange for millions of rands in bribes.

Frolick, Zondo says, must be subjected to further investigation for possible corruption.

- Kyle Cowan 

01 March 20:41

COMMENT | Part III of Zondo, as parts I and II did, is steadily building a strong case against Zuma.

This is very instructive from Zondo, and is an indication of things to come: "He has not presented evidence before the Commission. The consequence of his stance is that the evidence before the Commission implicating him remains undisputed except the evidence he was able to dispute when he gave evidence in July 2019."

- Pieter du Toit

01 March 20:30

Very important finding by Zondo: "Corruption was central to Bosasa's business model. Everything came down to corruption."

The evidence reveals that that there was widespread corruption in the awarding of contracts and tenders to Bosasa and its associated business entities or organisations, by Government departments, SOEs, agencies and entities.

Members of the National Executive, public officials and functionaries of various organs of state influenced the awarding of tenders to benefit themselves, their families or entities in which they held a personal interest," the report found.

- Qaanitah Hunter

01 March 20:29

Zondo makes a recommendation that further investigation is required to determine whether one-time department of justice acting director general Dr Khotso de Wee acted corruptly in his actions that saw a R600 million contract awarded to Bosasa for the provision of security systems at courts around the country.

De Wee was the secretary of the commission, and it is striking that Zondo does not deal with the fact that Bosasa subsidiary, Global Technology Solutions, was irregularly awarded a contract to provide access control, CCTV and security for the commission itself.

This contract was halted after News24 exposed it, but Zondo appears not to address it at all.

- Kyle Cowan 

READ THE STORY HERE

01 March 20:26

On Angelo Agrizzi's evidence about leaks of confidential NPA documents to Bosasa, Zondo finds enough evidence to recommend further investigation of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.

He is particularly concerned about the actions of former Acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba and her personal assistant, Jackie Lepinka, who were implicated by Agrizzi in the leaking of confidential NPA documents.

Jiba - now an advocate in private practice - wrote to the prosecutor in the Bosasa corruption case that "it is clear there is no evidence and or prospect of a successful prosecution" when this was blatantly untrue.

The matter is referred for further investigation "to establish the person or persons within the NPA who leaked to persons outside of the NPA" confidential documents.

- Adriaan Basson

01 March 20:23

In short: "Overall, the evidence shows that Mr Zuma, at least one member of his National Executive, public officials and the Chairperson of an SOE breached the Constitution, legislation and ethical codes by facilitating the unlawful award of tenders by SOEs and organs of state to benefit,  the Watson family, Bosasa and its associated entities, the recipients of monetary and other illicit benefits in return for the facilitation, and the families of the recipients, particularly where family members were directly provided with benefits, as in the case of Mr Mti, Mr Gillingham, Mr Smith and Ms Mokonyane."

- Qaanitah Hunter

01 March 20:20

The State Capture Inquiry recommends that the authorities take action against Mama Action Nomvula Mokonayane.

"The matter is referred to the appropriate authorities for further investigation and prosecution of Ms Mokonyane on charges of corruption in terms of section 3 and/or 4 and/or 11 and/or 12 and/or 13 of PRECCA," reads the report.

Zondo found there were "clearly extensive attempts by Bosasa and its leaders, through various forms of inducement and gain, to influence Ms Mokonyane in her position as a member of the national executive, the provincial executive and office bearer in organs of state".

The commission found there is sufficient evidence to establish that Mokonyane accepted gratification from Bosasa, which held and sought to obtain contracts with government.

– Jan Gerber

01 March 20:17

COMMENT | Quite remarkable to read Zondo picking apart Mokonyane's evidence, tearing into her for her weak denials that she received gifts, money and other forms of gratification.

Zondo is saying - and this will hurt - that if you put Agrizzi's evidence and her evidence side by side, Agrizzi comes out on top. And she's a senior - senior! - ANC figure. Embarrassing.

- Pieter du Toit

01 March 20:15

Zondo found "there were clearly extensive attempts by Bosasa and its leaders, through various forms of inducement and gain, to influence Ms Mokonyane in her position as a member of the national executive, the provincial executive and office bearer in organs of state".

- Jan Gerber

01 March 20:13

Zondo found there is "extensive evidence of a wide range of benefits" that Bosasa gave to former minister Nomvula Mokonyane and her family.

This includes her 40th birthday party and a R50 000 monthly payment.

– Jan Gerber

01 March 20:12

In dealing with the allegations against former minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Zondo notes the following, which should always be kept mind: "The Watson family's long history with the ANC would have meant that they were well attuned to where best within the ANC and government, there was the greatest prospect of generating influence."

- Kyle Cowan

01 March 20:11

On Bosasa, Zondo questions whether the company and its directors sought through the provision of the “war room” facilities at no charge to the ANC to indirectly influence the public office-bearers deployed by the party to do the bidding for the Bosasa group of companies.

- Juniour Khumalo

01 March 20:10

Remember the gifts that Bosasa and Gavin Watson lavished on Nomvula Mokonyane?

And her bald denials that a birthday party for her was pad for by Bosasa?

Well, Zondo blows those denials out of the water, and says she was "dishonest" and that she "lied".

She first denied that Angelo Agrizzi was at the party, then that she couldn't recall him being there.

Zondo: "There is no way that she would not have seen Mr Agrizzi at the party, particularly because Mr Agrizzi was the COO of Bosasa which was paying for the party, that Mr Agrizzi was organising the party and because Mr Agrizzi is physically a large man - nobody would easily miss him in a room."

Mokonyane still occupies a senior position at the ANC's headquarters, Luthuli House.

- Pieter du Toit

01 March 20:08

Zondo further recommends that Zuma be investigated for possible corruption in accepting gratifications from Bosasa, for his lavish birthday parties sponsored by the company and the alleged payments to the Zuma Foundation.

The reason further investigation is warranted is of course because Zuma fled the commission before he could provide his version to Zondo.

He was later jailed for contempt of court over the commission's efforts to compel him to appear before it.

- Kyle Cowan

01 March 20:06

COMMENT | 16 years after I first exposed Bosasa's shenanigans, it is quite gratifying to be in possession of 942 pages of Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's latest state capture report, focusing exclusively on the once-obscure services company started by members of the ANC Women's League.

Bosasa made billions from government tenders under CEO Gavin Watson, who died in a mysterious car crash in 2019.

The News24 team is digesting the report and will bring you the highlights over the next few hours.

- Adriaan Basson, editor-in-chief

01 March 20:05

Interestingly, the commission has decided not to make findings on a donation made by Bosasa to President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign.

Ramaphosa was asked to comment on it when he appeared before the commission.

The report notes that the allegations were not investigated in any serious way because the public protector had already investigated and made findings on the matter.

We however, know that the public protector's report on the CR17 donations has since been set aside by the courts.

- Qaanitah Hunter

01 March 20:03

In relation to evidence heard about the ANC's elections war room being housed at Bosasa offices, Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo recommends that ANC officials who were involved in setting up ANC elections war room at Bosasa offices must be identified and investigated.

The report notes that there is enough to warrant a further investigation on the matter.

- Qaanitah Hunter

01 March 20:02

Zuma violated the Constitution in acting in Bosasa's interests

Zondo has found that there are "reasonable grounds to suspect" that former president Jacob Zuma's actions in connection with Bosasa was in breach of his "obligations as President under the Constitution".

This relates to the alleged payment of R300 000 per month to the Zuma Foundation and his alleged interference in preventing government departments, mainly correctional services, from cancelling Bosasa contracts.

It is also in connection with the prosecution of Bosasa heavyweights, which was inexplicably delayed for nearly a decade.

- Kyle Cowan

01 March 19:48

Mantashe benefitted from Bosasa's 'corrupt modus operandi'- Zondo

The third part of the State Capture Commission of Inquiry has found that energy minister and former ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe benefitted from Bosasa's "corrupt modus operandi".

The company had installed CCTV cameras at his homes in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg and Cala in the Eastern Cape.

The latest volume of the report deals exclusively with Bosasa and spans nearly 1 000 pages.

-Kyle Cowan

01 March 19:40

Good evening.

It is a long night of reading for us as part 3 of the State Capture Report is four volumes long and is over 1 000 pages.

It focuses entirely on Bosasa and the corruption allegations surrounding that company.

- Qaanitah Hunter

01 March 19:37

Zondo Commission secures extension until 30 April, Ramaphosa gets 4 months to respond

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has granted the State Capture Inquiry another two months to complete its work – and President Cyril Ramaphosa will have four months to respond to the final part of the inquiry's report.

In court papers, Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who chairs the inquiry, said he expected to hand over the final part of the report, including findings relating to Eskom, Bosasa and the State Security Agency, to Ramaphosa at the end of February.

MORE HERE

01 March 19:37

Budget 2022 | 'Anything to see them in jail' - Treasury puts state capture on its radar

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana told reporters ahead of his maiden budget speech that National Treasury still had its eye on pursuing individuals and companies implicated in the State Capture Inquiry, and that it would not settle for anything less than jail sentences.

Godongwana tabled his first budget speech to a joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Since the release of the report - so far in two of three parts - calls have mounted for companies implicated in the report to be blacklisted from state tenders and individuals to be prosecuted.

FIN24 HAS MORE

01 March 19:37

Presidency Director-General Ms Phindile Baleni receiving a third volume of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector on behalf of the President, presented by the Secretary of the Commission, Prof Itumeleng Mosala at the Union Buildings. South Africa. 01/03/2022. (Siyabulela Duda)
Presidency Director-General Ms Phindile Baleni receiving a third volume of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector on behalf of the President, presented by the Secretary of the Commission, Prof Itumeleng Mosala at the Union Buildings. South Africa. 01/03/2022. (Siyabulela Duda)

01 March 19:37

Presidency Director-General Ms Phindile Baleni receiving a third volume of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector on behalf of the President, presented by the Secretary of the Commission, Prof Itumeleng Mosala at the Union Buildings. South Africa. 01/03/2022. (Siyabulela Duda)
Presidency Director-General Ms Phindile Baleni receiving a third volume of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector on behalf of the President, presented by the Secretary of the Commission, Prof Itumeleng Mosala at the Union Buildings. South Africa. 01/03/2022. (Siyabulela Duda)
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