Angelo Agrizzi, Former COO of Bosasa. Picture: WIKUS DE WET / AFP
Angelo Agrizzi, Former COO of Bosasa. Picture: WIKUS DE WET / AFP

Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi has admitted that he is a racist‚ but denied that his evidence before the state capture inquiry is motivated by racism.

Agrizzi pleaded with the state capture inquiry on Tuesday to consider the facts in his evidence despite an audio recording of him using the K-word repeatedly‚ which may be used to argue that his tell-all testimony is motivated by racism towards his colleagues at Bosasa.

Evidence leader Paul Pretorius made reference to a meeting that took place at Agrizzi’s home on August 23 2018. Agrizzi said Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson’s relatives were present at the meeting.

The meeting took place after Agrizzi was allegedly offered R50m over five years‚ and R250‚000/month to “keep quiet” about the goings on within the company.

“I noticed that there was a lot of fiddling around in the pockets and I presumed they were recording the meeting. In hindsight‚ I should not have had the meeting because I was not myself … I knew they were recording me.… In my gut I knew it‚” Agrizzi said.

“I thought I could control it‚ evidently I couldn’t. I thought I would manage this whole meeting with them.… We spoke about things that I used to speak to those kids previously about.”

The inquiry then played a recording from the meeting in which Agrizzi can be heard using the K-word many times. He said his comments were directed at his Bosasa colleagues‚ Joe Gumede and Papa Leshabane.

“I’m embarrassed of myself‚ I’m ashamed of myself for ever doing that...I am a racist. Judge me on that. I have admitted it and I am sorry‚” Agrizzi said.

Pretorius asked Agrizzi how he would respond to the accusation that his testimony is motivated by racism.

“My answer to that is that [you] work off the facts, please. I made a mistake‚ I shamed my family. I’m paying the price for it. I don’t see how somebody can say that I’m being racist when I’m pointing out the facts. The two people I refer to using the K-word are Papa Leshabane and Joe Gumede. When people threaten you … you do do stupid things. I’m not making excuses‚” Agrizzi said.

“Have a look at the facts. I can’t do anything about your [Zondo’s] decision. What I can do is I can ask you please to make it more accessible for whistle-blowers to come out.”

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said Agrizzi’s statements were “extremely offensive”.

“What I have heard you say there is extremely offensive‚ totally unacceptable, but that does not mean that I will not examine your evidence. I will still examine your evidence‚ and consider it properly.”