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Birthday boy Agrizzi still too sick make it to court for fraud case

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The former Bosasa CEO is celebrating his birthday while under the care of the medical staff at a private hospital while his co-accused Vincent Smith appears in the dock.

Former Bosasa CEO Angelo Agrizzi has been in hospital since October due to diabetic-related illness. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg – Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi is celebrating his birthday while under the care of the medical staff at a private hospital in Joburg on Thursday.

Agrizzi turns 53 today.

He has been in hospital since October due to diabetic-related illness which forced him to miss his court appearance on November 26 where he is charged along with former correctional services commissioner Linda Mit and two others on charges of fraud and corruption worth R1.8 billion.

They are accused of having allowed Bosasa to illegally acquire tenders at the Department of Correctional Services between 2004 and 2006. The alleged fraud and corruption were uncovered by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) following a presidential proclamation but no action was taken against Agrizzi and his accomplices.

Agrizzi was granted bail of R20 000 after he told the Pretoria Special Commercial Crimes Court that he was the legal owner Helderfontein Estate worth R13.5m and had movable assets worth R2.65m.

Ill-health also forced Agrizzi not to appear at the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court today.

He was due to appear alongside ANC MP and former chairperson of the portfolio committee on correctional services Vincent Smith, charged with fraud and corruption.

ANC MP and former chairperson of the portfolio committee on correctional services Vincent Smith. Picture: Investigating Directorate

Agrizzi legal counsel Manie Witz told the court that his client was still hospitalised. The court issued Agrizzi’s warrant of arrest but stayed until his next appearance in March.

Smith and his company Euroblitz are also charged with fraud. In the indictment – the state alleged that Agrizzi and former Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson paid gratifications of more than R800 000 to Smith while serving as chairperson of the portfolio committee on correctional services.

The gratification payments allegedly included security upgrades at Smith’s Roodepoort’s house and more than R395 000 for a “car accident settlement ”.

All these funds were paid directly into Euroblitz’s account. Smith allegedly transferred some of these funds into his private banking accounts of three major banks in the country.

Smith made his first appearance on the charges on October 1 and was granted bail of R30 000.

Political Bureau