Home South African State capture report: Bosasa’s corrupt practices extended beyond government circles to private...

State capture report: Bosasa’s corrupt practices extended beyond government circles to private sector

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Dragging more politicians, the report also revealed that the late Watson roped in Siviwe Mapisa, the twin brother of the speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as his business partner at Vulisango. Agrizzi alleged that Siviwe held 50% shares in the company on behalf of his sister.

Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi faces cross-examination at the state capture commission. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha-African News Agency (ANA)

THE state capture commission report on corruption-tainted Bosasa shows that the company was not only capturing government officials, but it also captured the private sector and union leaders.

This is contained in part three of the Zondo commission report which was handed over to director-general in the Presidency, Phindile Baleni by Professor Itumeleng Mosala, the secretary of the commission.

The report is opened by a comment that Bosasa was a company which was run based on widespread corrupt practices.

“The evidence heard by the commission reveals that the Bosasa group of companies, its chief executive officer, Mr Gavin Watson, its chief operations officer, Mr Angelo Agrizzi, its directors including Mr Joe Gumede, Mr (Papa) Leshabane and others ran the entire Bosasa business operations on the basis of widespread corruption bribery and fraud. The evidence revealed that corruption was Bosasa’s way of doing things. It bribed politicians, government officials, president Jacob Zuma and others extensively,” reads the opening part of the report.

The report also noted that although Agrizzi gave the incriminating evidence because he had a fallout with the late Watson who died in 2019, it praised him for his courage to do so even when there were threats on his life.

“Notwithstanding that Mr Angelo Agrizzi was part of the corruption, bribery and fraud mentioned above, it needs to be mentioned that it was due to him that this commission was given extensive evidence of acts of corruption, bribery and fraud that were committed by various people at Bosasa. For this the commission is indebted to Mr Agrizzi notwithstanding the fact that the commission accepts that Mr Agrizzi’s motives or reasons for spilling the beans may have been largely personal because he had a fallout with Mr Gavin Watson.”

The report then notes testimonies presented to it, including the one which was presented by minister Gwede Mantashe and former minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Both senior ANC members were accused by Agrizzi of benefiting from the largesse of Bosasa.

Above all, the report reveals that Agrizzi’s testimony showed that Bosasa was spending between R4 million and R6 million to bribe government officials and politicians that could help them to win tenders. Surprisingly, the report dragged the late former minister for correctional services, Ngconde Balfour, who allegedly appeared to have protected former correctional services boss, Linda Mti, when allegations of corruption surfaced.

That was gleaned from the testimony of former ANC MP, Dennis Bloem, who now speaks and is a senior member of Cope. At the time, Bloem was a member of the correctional services portfolio committee and his office was broken into and documents related to Bosasa were stolen.

Then came the part that showed that Bosasa had its corrupt tentacles even in the private sector as it won a catering tender at Sasol through corrupt means. According to Agrizzi’s testimony, around 2001, Bosasa placed a bid for a tender at the fuel company and it roped in a unionist from Ceppwawu (Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union) in the name of Simon Mofokeng.

Mofokeng allegedly told Watson during a meeting that his union was going to create a “work stoppage” at Sasol so that the company could be forced to issue the tender and that happened.

“At the meeting, Mr Mofokeng provided Mr Watson and Mr Agrizzi with the pricing of the other companies that had submitted (bids) to enable them to tailor their pricing accordingly… Mr Mofokeng apparently had this information because ”he had a phenomenal network at Sasol“ as head of Ceppwawu. Mr Agrizzi further testified that Bosasa employed Mr Mofokeng’s wife, Maureen, to head up a newly established training department,” says the report.

Dragging more politicians, the report also revealed that the late Watson roped in Siviwe Mapisa, the twin brother of the speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as his business partner at Vulisango. Agrizzi alleged that Siviwe held the 50% shares in the company on behalf of his sister.

“Mr Agrizzi characterised this meeting as being one where the Watsons ensured that they had the most powerful people in the country as their connections and friends. I was told categorically that they believed that they were the most politically connected people in South Africa.”

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