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Agrizzi back in court over Bosasa graft

Agrizzi back in court over Bosasa graft

Bosasa’s former Chief Operations Officer (COO) Angelo Agrizzi and former African National Congress (ANC) MP Vincent Smith are expected back in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 3 December 2020.

The pair face fraud and corruption charges in relation to hundreds of thousands of rands Agrizzi admitted to giving to Smith as bribes. Smith has however denied that the monies paid were backhanders, saying it was actually a loan he had requested, meant to go towards his daughter’s tuition. Smith is also alleged to have received security upgrades to his home, for which Bosasa footed the bill.

However it remains to be seen whether the matter will go as planned as Agrizzi’s ill-health has led to a number of postponements. He had suffered a heart attack after spending his first night in police custody, after the court had initially denied him bail, saying he was a flight risk. It was revealed in court that he and his common law wife had transferred approximately R24 million to offshore accounts. He also purchased property and a luxury car in Italy – coincidentally, Agrizzi claimed to have lost his Italian passport.

Smith handed himself over to the authorities at the Alberton Police Station in Johannesburg in the beginning of October and appeared in the same court just hours later. He pleaded not guilty and was released on R30 000 bail.

In November, Agrizzi’s R1.8 billion corruption case involving the Department of Correctional Services had to also be postponed, due to his health. His lawyer told media that Agrizzi was still in hospital recovering.

The accused in the matter are former National Department of Correctional Services Commissioner Linda Mti, former Chief Financial Officer Patrick Gillingham, BOSASA Operations (Pty) Ltd Ex-Chief Operations Officer Angelo Agrizzi and erstwhile Chief financial officer Andries van Tonder.

The group face charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

“Charges in connection to four tenders awarded to Bosasa Operations PTY (Ltd) and its subsidiaries valued at over R1.8 billion between the periods August 2004 – 2007. Contracts for the rendering of catering and training services, installation of CCTV cameras, installing of perimeter fencing, supply of television systems and monitoring equipment,” said the Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Twala.


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