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Agrizzi on life support after suffering heart attack

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Lawyers say the former Bosasa executive is in a very serious condition.

Angelo Agrizzi appears in court carrying his oxygen tank.
Angelo Agrizzi, formerly of Bosasa, is constantly on an external oxygen supply. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi, who faces corruption charges in the state capture scandal, is on life support after suffering a heart attack, his lawyer confirmed on Thursday.

“He is obviously in a very serious condition,” Daniel Witz said.

Agrizzi had the heart attack on Wednesday in a private hospital in Johannesburg to which he was admitted a few days after being denied bail in a case involving alleged bribes paid to former ANC MP Vincent Smith.

Witz said his client was on three different forms of life support in intensive care, including a ventilator and a dialysis machine.

Agrizzi has a respiratory condition and appeared in court last week with a mobile oxygen tank.

He was admitted to a public hospital the following day and on Monday was rushed to a private hospital.

Witz said he was moved after the public facility warned that it had run out of intensive-care space and was not able to treat him properly.

The Department of Correctional Services then granted permission for him to be moved, provided his family pay the cost of the transfer.

The Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court denied the former Bosasa chief operations officer bail after the National Prosecuting Authority submitted that he posed a flight risk.

Prosecutors argued that Agrizzi had misrepresented his financial position and the fact that he retained an Italian passport.

It told the court he had bought a villa in a town in Tuscany.

Agrizzi is challenging the bail ruling and Witz said the matter would be heard on Monday, in his client’s absence.

It is alleged that Agrizzi arranged bribes to persuade Smith, the former chairman of Parliament’s portfolio committee on correctional services, to drop his resistance to the company securing lucrative tenders for prison services.

African News Agency (ANA)