No politicians have applied to cross-examine Angelo Agrizzi
Nomvula Mokonyane, Dudu Myeni, Vincent Smith and former president Jacob Zuma were among those named by Agrizzi as receiving bribes
None of the senior politicians accused of corruption by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has yet applied to cross-examine him — with only three people, including suspended prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba — attempting to counter Agrizzi’s evidence under oath.
Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, who Agrizzi accuses of masterminding state corruption on a huge scale over many years, has also not formally applied to cross-examine him.
Agrizzi, who served as Watson’s right-hand man from 1999 until 2016, testified in January that Bosasa spent between R4m and R6m on bribes a month to help it win lucrative contracts.
Environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane, former SAA chair Dudu Myeni, ANC MP Vincent Smith and former president Jacob Zuma, were among those named by Agrizzi as receiving bribes, gratifications or gifts from Bosasa during his testimony, given more than two months ago. But, as yet, they have not applied to cross-examine Agrizzi.
Individuals have to apply for cross-examination within 14 days of being formally notified of their implication in testimony, although extensions can be sought.
When he was interviewed by Business Day earlier in March, Zuma declined to comment on Agrizzi’s evidence that his foundation received payments of R300,000 from Bosasa, now trading as African Global Operations.
Mokonyane’s spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said the minister had only been issued with a formal notice that she was implicated by Agrizzi’s evidence on Wednesday, and was waiting for copies of his statement before she applies to cross-examine him. If Mokonyane does apply to cross-examine Agrizzi, she will have to undertake to testify before the inquiry and face cross-examination as well.
In January, Mokonyane slammed Agrizzi’s testimony that she received food and expensive alcohol from Bosasa as “preposterous and lacking in factual accuracy”. She also allegedly received free security installations and upkeep of her house at Bosasa’s expense.
Myeni, who Agrizzi said had received R300,000 in cash stuffed in a Louis Vuitton bag from Watson and also received free security equipment, in turn told eNCA that Agrizzi was a “bitter, racist man” and denied any wrongdoing.
“For somebody to claim that I received a bag with R300,000 inside it must be also noted that I’ve been in business … R300,000 would not make me jump up and down. So nobody can test me with money, because I have seen money before.
“Now what I’m saying is I have an opportunity to present. I’ve been given until the 25th (of February) to finish all the submissions regarding what Agrizzi has claimed. I will repeat: he is a racist.”
While it now appears Myeni has not finalised her submission, mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe has applied to cross-examine Bosasa’s former head of special operations Richard le Roux about his testimony that the company installed security equipment worth R300,000 at three of his properties.
Mantashe has publicly disputed that this was done at his request, or with any corrupt intent, and is understood to have asked that he be allowed to present evidence in this regard.
Agrizzi is expected to take the stand at the Zondo inquiry on Thursday to give further testimony about Bosasa. He is expected to provide further evidence about the alleged gratifications given to Mokonyane, as well as to name another high-ranking ANC MP as having received bribes from Bosasa.
The inquiry is also expected to hear applications from Jiba and Armscor CEO Kevin Wakeford to cross-examine Agrizzi.
Jiba has repeatedly denied Agrizzi’s evidence that she received any money from Bosasa, handled the corruption investigation against the company, or provided confidential National Prosecuting Authority documents to Bosasa. She has indicated that she will testify at the Zondo inquiry if called on to do so.