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#StateCaptureInquiry @StateCaptureCom hearings for 2019 begin today at 10:00. The first witness has not yet been announced. First, an application regarding testimony this week (likely that of the first witness) will be heard. Stay with #eNcA403 for updates throughout the day.
#StateCaptureInquiry @StateCaptureCom's first hearing of 2019 is about to begin. Advocate Mannie Witz is here with two juniors, representing whom is not yet clear.
#StateCaptureInquiry @StateCaptureCom Chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo greets. Advocate Paul Pretorius stands and announces where the evidence leaders stand will be communicated to the public, before dealing with the preliminary matters related to the first witness.
#StateCaptureInquiry "As we said in the opening address of the legal tea [...] we are governed by our terms of reference," says Pretorius before reading terms 1.1 to 1.3, and highlights in intonation the issue of undue influence or inducement for gain.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius highlights term 1.4 and its mention the unlawful awarding of tenders to benefit the Guptas or any other corporate entity. He says this evidence will be led in the coming months, under the rubric of SOEs and will include testimony on #Eskom.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius lists mining licenses, advertising to GCIS and other tender matters. Zondo speaks of the [irregular] appointment of two [Gupta-affiliated] advisors to the Minister of Finance, Des van Rooyen.
#StateCaptureInquiry In 2019, says Pretorius, the legal team's tasks will include completing evidence from 2018. and comprehensively deal with state capture corruption and fraud in SOEs, government departments.
[JUST IN] #StateCaptureInquiry Legal team head Pretorius says testimony from and about law enforcement agencies will follow over the next two months, and there is a "considerable tranche" of evidence on this topic. He next moves on to aspects of today's testimony re: inducement.
[BREAKING] #StateCaptureInquiry Former COO of Bosasa Group Angelo Agrizzi is the first witness at the @StateCaptureCom for 2019. He, on his own version, was involved in inducement, fraud, corruption, money laundering and could now be described, says Pretorius, as a whistleblower.
#StateCaptureInquiry "The evidence that the witness intends to lead [...] can be characterised as very sensitive," says Pretorius and it implicates public office bearers, government entities and departments. Pretorius says Agrizzi's appearance was kept confidential.
#StateCaptureInquiry "We approach the evidence with extreme caution [...] it could be motivated by improper motives, or it could be true [...] we make no prior submissions on whether it is comprehensive or not," says Pretorius of testimony expected from Agrizzi, who enters now.
#StateCaptureInquiry Accompanied by a burly man in a khaki shirt, former Bosasa COO Agrizzi strides into the @StateCaptureCom hall. Pretorius says Agrizzi's testimony is "manifestly" in the public interest.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius submits that once Agrizzi's evidence is heard, corroboration is heard, investigations are complete, those implicated have responded, then can findings be made. An investigator says Agrizzi implicates about 38 people, including those of stature.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry According to an inquiry investigator, the coercion to persuade Agrizzi not to disclose his knowledge gradually extended from him to his family, his life is in danger and the investigator perceives those implicated could harm him in an effort to silence him.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius says implicated parties are, he understands, being notified telephonically of Agrizzi's mention of them today, this information along with that of his appearance was withheld due to concerns for his safety.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi reportedly took photographs of a confidential National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) file on Bosasa while viewing them at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria, and inquiry investigators have confirmed the carpet pattern in the photos matches that of the hotel
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius refers to evidence from Agrizzi including audio recordings and video of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson counting out cash money of R110,000 per month for a beneficiary. There is also evidence of a death threat issued against him by an inmate, says Pretorius
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius says there is "direct evidence of the following being said" by a Bosasa official: tell Agrizzi to be careful, we don't want another funeral. "That recording has been transcribed and is in the possession of the commission," says Pretorius.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Very serious allegation from Agrizzi against Bosasa CEO Watson. Pretorius says that Agrizzi submits Watson "could make people disappear" and the company has allegedly hired the likes of Mikey Schultz to protect Bosasa's interests. The Hawks have been notified
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Following a warning from a journalist to Agrizzi that he should be careful and that Agrizzi was being monitored, his calls were being tapped, the @StateCaptureCom provided protection and that protection continues, says Pretorius.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius: The submission we make to you [...] there is a manifest public interest that had to be respected in preserving the evidence [...] the safety and integrity of persons in positions similar to Mr Agrizzi should feel [...] at least reasonably secure.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry "Their rights are not removed, they are merely delayed," says Pretorius on the rights of those implicated - around 38 people, including those of stature (read: politically exposed people) - in Agrizzi's evidence.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Chair Zondo now addresses the legal team's decision not to notify those implicated in Agrizzi's testimony, due to serious concerns over the witnesses testimony.
#StateCaptureInquiry "Therefore, I will allow the evidence to be led and be led in open," says Zondo. He says all the rights of implicated persons besides the right to prior notice will be respected and complied with, and they will be dealt with fairly.
#StateCaptureInquiry "If they want to apply for leave to cross examine their application will be considered properly and their versions will be given due consideration," says Zondo.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo continues, "So, I will take this opportunity to say to the witness about to give evidence, so whether or not his evidence in the end will be found to be truthful or not is a decision that I will take in the future." He thanks Agrizzi for coming forward.
#StateCaptureInquiry Former Bosasa COO Agrizzi takes the oath. He is, as we have heard from Pretorius, self-implicated in inducement, fraud and corruption involving people of stature. Pretorius, it seems, will lead evidence which is set to hone in on security contracts et. al.
#StateCaptureInquiry On his personal website, Agrizzi describes himself as a "passionate GAME CHANGER" with a "thirty five year journey [...] in my role as a learner, mentee, leader, consolidator, change agent, innovator, mentor and scenario planner." He confirms his statement.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks if Agrizzi has reported any of the matters in his statement under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA). He says no. Agrizzi replies "nothing whatsoever" when asked if he has been offered any incentive in order to give his evidence now.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says he left Bosasa in 2017 and was exposed to numerous corrupt activities. "It has not been possible to recall absolutely, it is just too volumous [sic]," he says on his recollection of events. He later adds, "I am more than willing to assist."
#StateCaptureInquiry "My last date of work at the business was 2016, 15th of December," says Agrizzi after noting there was a period of negotiation which is why he says he left the business Bosasa in 2017.
[HAPPENING NOW] #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi now deals with why he decided to come forward, he had become blunt to corrupt activities and he should have reported them from day one. Pretorius asks why he took so long to come forward. He says it is like being in a cult.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius presses Agrizzi on why he took so long to report the alleged corrupt activities involving Bosasa. Agrizzi says he had a health scare after which he consulted with his family and made a decision to come forward.
#StateCaptureInquiry Proceedings adjourn until 11:35 in order to deal with a technical issue. Agrizzi swiftly exits flanked by a burly man in khaki and moves to a holding area.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi details his career and his first encounter with Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson when working in large scale catering. He describes efforts to sabotage one company’s contact at a mine hospital, through the mobilisation of workers.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo inquires as to Agrizzi’s mention of a mining union, and Agrizzi says that for mineworkers a meal is a highlight in long days of graft, so their input on the contracts is relevant, hence the union’s role but not in the actual catering contract.
#StateCaptureInquiry The proposed contract for catering at Goldfields involved Bosasa’s precursor Dyambu Holdings. Pretorius asks about Agrizzi leaving one foods company, Molope, in order to join a competitor, Dyambu. The union he mentioned is National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi persuaded Molope not to sign a catering contract, to wait a month or so, and says - in reply to a question from Zondo - that he “honestly believed” he had found a company who could offer a better price.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks about Agrizzi’s then relationship with Watson, now Bosasa CEO. Agrizzi describes driving Watson’s car, receiving mentor ship, details what to me sounds like a close right-hand-man type dynamic between him and Watson.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius refers to Agrizzi’s statement, and his mention of his initial employment in a marketing capacity at what became Bosasa and was, in 1999 when he joined, previously named Dyambu. Pretorius refers back to Watson and Dyambu’s tenders.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says he was present at meetings in Dyambu’s offices where he says Watson paid money to NUM’’s Jackson Mafika at Kloof Gold Mine in connection with securing Dyambu support. He claims cash was delivered and typically handed over in grey cash bags.
#StateCaptureInquiry “Are you saying you did actually see the cash as well?” asks Zondo. “I didn’t actually see the cash,” says Agrizzi, but based on his knowledge he took the contents of the bag to be cash.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi details the change or rebrand of the company as Bosasa and says he became increasingly involved in operations, later he would become involved “in the complete operation”. Zondo asks what was Agrizzi’s role at Dyambu versus Bosasa, he says it changed
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says his role at Bosasa was akin to a Jack of all trades, then Zondo asks what was on his business card to which Agrizzi replies marketing manager. Pretorius then asks about the processing of tenders, and Agrizzi’s mention of prayer meetings.
#StateCaptureInquiry “Chair, if I may, I am a Christian,” begins Agrizzi before describing prayer meetings at Bosasa led by Watson, adding that the prayers of those attending were held out loud. He as a right hand man of Watson was expected to attend.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi takes pause, seems upset, as he describes the prayer meetings and Zondo asks if he wants a break. Later he continues and says “it became like a cult” and prophets like those seen on TV would be invited. “Gavin Watson was a very charismatic leader.”
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi is evidently stirred when he details the Bosasa prayer meetings, led by Watson. Pretorius refers Agrizzi to a document with the names of various individuals and the positions they held at the time.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi seemingly shows some remorse now about attending Bosasa prayer meetings, including all nighters, which he has now deemed a mockery.

#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi details leaving Bosasa in 2016 and his exit agreement. Pretorius notes that this point introduces two agreements relevant to Agrizzi’s resignation and departure, including a contract to retrain him as a consultant for a decade.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks what prompted Agrizzi to agree to the consulting contract subsequent to his resignation. Agrizzi says things had changed dramatically. “So the financial benefit of the second agreement was substantially less?” asks Pretorius. Agrizzi confirms.
[COMMENT] #StateCaptureInquiry To me, Agrizzi seems rather terse and anxious. He rather snaps in some of his answers. This may be informed by the highly sensitive nature of his evidence, the reported threats and intimidation he has received, and the gravity his implications.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi gets a bit defensive when Pretorius asks him to explain how his wife was paid a portion of his Dyambu salary. Zondo asks if she was employed by Dyambu. “No, only on paper,” replies Agrizzi. He seems to see nothing wrong, says it was based on advice.
#StateCaptureInquiry “She paid tax to the authorities on hers, and I paid tax on mine,” says Agrizzi of income to him and his wife. On paper his Dyambu salary was split between him and his wife, this was done on the advice of someone at the company, he says.
#StateCaptureInquiry “Chair, there was no benefit to me,” says Agrizzi speaking to Zondo on the split Dyambu salary. He has also described various gifts - including holidays and purchases - he received while at the company which became Bosasa.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi reads an annual salary figure of over R27-million for one year and one other. Pretorius asks if these figures were actually paid. Agrizzi says no. “Not in full,” he says. “Some were paid but not in full,” notes Zondo. “Correct.”
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says his salary was kept under wraps because it would have been an embarrassment to the other directors who earned, he submits, significantly less. Scrutiny here of the money Bosasa paid (or, not) to him.
[NOTE] #StateCaptureInquiry The motives behind Agrizzi’s whistleblowing are likely to run deeper than a health scare and leaving what he describes as the Bosasa cult. For comprehensive, clued up reporting on this, see the stellar work of @CowansView for @News24.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius Asian what was Dyambu’s prior name and the shareholders in that company, what was its business. Agrizzi says it had youth development centre and Lindela contracts among others. They involve detention, catering, training and development.
#StateCaptureInquiry We adjourn for lunch. Agrizzi will resume testifying at 14:00. Stay tuned to #eNCA403 for a summary of his testimony this morning. The 2019 hearings begin with a bang.
#StateCaptureInquiry Details of Agrizzi's testimony to date will follow later on #eNCA403. The first witness to testify at the @StateCaptureCom hearings in 2019 has implicated Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson in allegations of misconduct. Agrizzi resumes testifying at 14:00.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo returns and proceedings resume. Pretorius stands. Zondo says, "Before you proceed, I just want to bring something to Mr Agrizzi's attention. That is, that at page 156 of Exhibit S1 [...] your job title is reflected as Chief Operating Officer."
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says he was involved in marketing when he joined the company that became Bosasa. Now proceeding with testimony, Agrizzi mentions a Sesinya Seopela, who Agrizzi says told him he was involved in the arms deal with Fana Hlongwane.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says bluntly, "Well, it's a front. The manner and the purpose is to front for BEE purposes." He does so while describing the change from Dyambu to Bosasa and the nature of the company structure.
#StateCaptureInquiry Now, Agrizzi describes a boon in business for Bosasa from 2001 including work for Sasol and the @PostofficeSa, also in mining and youth development centres. He's listed a number of businesses and in a number of provinces.
@PostofficeSa #StateCaptureInquiry "It was improper," says Agrizzi of a bid where costing on food went awry, he says, and the pricing structure was subject to adjustment after the proposal had been submitted, and the tender period had closed. Such an amendment is not proper, says Pretorius.
@PostofficeSa #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says he got a call from Watson to go to a meeting with Simon Mofokeng. "He said the purpose of the meeting was to sort out Sasol [...] by putting pressure on the union."
@PostofficeSa #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi: Well, it was tradition for Dyembu or Bosasa to put pressure on the union to create a stoppage until the tender was given. Chair, that is what happened.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says Mofokeng's only influence was over Sasol, during the reported meeting with Watson, Mofokeng they spoke pricing. "Basically, he informed us of what the other bidders prices were at the meeting. He told us what pricing structure we should look at."
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi answers a question from Zondo on how Mofokeng came to know the pricing from other bidders and Agrizzi says Mofokeng had "an incredible network" at Sasol. Dyambo, says Agrizzi, used this information to bid, the tender was granted under the name Bosasa.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks after the awarding of Sasol tender did Agrizzi receive any instructions from Watson. Agrizzi says, "Instructions were to arrange various things: braai packs, cold drinks, various grocery items and they were to be delivered to [...] Mofokeng."
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi estimates orders of various groceries for Mofokeng were worth R12,000 to R15,000 a month. Agrizzi reports he would sometimes receive messages of thanks from Mofokeng, who would also reportedly complain to Watson when the meat delivery was insufficient
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says that these bribes were written off in the Bosasa books as operational marketing expenses. Pretorius asks Agrizzi who else was involved in this arrangement and he replies: Daniel van Tonder and one other.
[COMMENT] #StateCaptureInquiry The allegations are coming in hard and fast, now. Agrizzi has been so blunt, so frank it is galling. He has spoke of a restructuring effort to create a BEE front for the company, reported bribes to a union leader following a successful Sasol bid.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi reports that Watson told Agrizzi that he - so, Watson - was "looking after" then Head of Security for the @PostofficeSa and Mandla Manyati, the the Post Office CEO. This included, alleges Agrizzi, quite a bit of gifts, premium gifts, for both.
#StateCaptureInquiry Under oath, Agrizzi lists gifts he reports Watson bought for the two @PostOfficeSA officials during a trip to Dubai. They include, claims Agrizzi, a Cartier pen and cufflinks for Mapisa and a Mont Blanc pen and cufflinks for Manyatsi.
#StateCaptureInquiry Watson's brother Ronnie Watson and Mapisa would attend hunting trips in the Eastern Cape, claims Agrizzi, and Agrizzi reports he had to arrange trucks to transport the meat at Bosasa's expense.
#StateCaptureInquiry In reply to a question, Agrizzi says he cannot prove the two were given gifts and paid money in connection with the tender awarded. Pretorius now introduces the Airports Company South Africa and a contract with Bosasa signed in 2001, he prepared the tender.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi describes the security concerns over stolen cars @ortambo_int which precipitated the tender for security services. Agrizzi says he was responsible for Bosasa's bid for the security services tender.
@ortambo_int #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks if Agrizzi received any information from Watson regarding the Acsa tender and Agrizzi replies saying Watson told him Bosasa would get the tender. He was, says Agrizzi, told to get ready as Bosasa would be getting the tender.
@ortambo_int #StateCaptureInquiry In 2005 the Acsa tender was again awarded to Bosasa. "Often we would take the grey security bags full of money and give it to certain people," says Agrizzi of visits to OR Tambo International Airport, reportedly with Joe Gumede of Bosasa.
#StateCaptureInquiry "I suspected it because I had received money in a similar way," says Agrizzi blankly. He replies to Pretorius saying he became clearer the grey bags were packed with money when he started making the payments.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks of the frequency of payments. Agrizzi replies they were happening monthly, occurred until he left Bosasa. Pretorius asks Agrizzi for the Acsa officials he says received bribes. Agrizzi names three people with the surnames Serobe, Pillay and Bashir.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks why Agrizzi called the money in the grey plastic bags bribes and the witness looks at the head of the legal team like, "Duh." Agrizzi says he calls them bribes because they were for the purpose of "coercing them to do what you want them to do".
#StateCaptureInquiry "Are you able to tell me who would have been doing deliveries?" asks Zondo of Agrizzi. "I can give you background to it," replies Agrizzi.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi: Normally, if someone is involved in bribery, they would do a deal, they would get a monthly payment. Because, that way, according to the way superiors explained it to me at, you have a hold over the person, because you have a hold on their lifestyle
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi now describes Bosasa directors allegedly approaching CEO Watson who would then "go to get the money" reportedly intended for bribes, and from one of about eight walk in vaults at the company's offices, including one dubbed "Gavin's safe"
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks if these were open requests for bribe money, to which Agrizzi replies requests to Watson would ostensibly be for stationery etc. but it was known it was for bribes. Bosasa personnel knew what it was for, including Watson. "He also knew," he says.
"He referred to it as monopoly money," claims Agrizzi of how Bosasa CEO Watson would speak of cash senior personnel at the company would request for bribes, and which Watson allegedly retrieved from vaults at the company offices.
#StateCaptureInquiry Earlier, Agrizzi said to Zondo of Bosasa personnel: Chair if they wanted money for anything other than bribing somebody they would have gone to petty cash.
#StateCaptureInquiry Just some features of Agrizzi's testimony so far: a black book recording alleged bribes Bosasa paid, Gavin's safe reportedly containing money for bribes, grey plastic bags of cash ferried to the airport, monthly grocery deliveries including meat. Issalot.
And - how could I leave this out - monopoly money.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asked Agrizzi if he was Watson's right hand man at the time the bribes were paid. Agrizzi confirms, describes preparing, packaging cash for bribes. Seems highly likely to me Agrizzi will turn state witness if any litigation derives from his testimony.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi mentions a colleague, Jacques van Zyl, who he reports was involved in the preparing and packaging cash for the bribes he's testified Bosasa was paying. Agrizzi describes a coding system he used in this process, also his record keeping on the bribes.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says "we never spoke in thousands" as that would be "too obvious" so they would speak "in hundreds and tens" and he gives an example of the coding system, including the bribe recipient's initials, an amount, the initials of (basically) the bribe mule.
[PARAPHRASED] #StateCaptureInquiry According to Agrizzi, he and Watson would discuss bribe amounts and consult on proposed figures, the bribe handlers would motivate for amounts, sometimes they would inflate the amounts in order to shave off a bit of the cash for themselves.
#StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says R4-million to R6-million in cash per month spent on bribes was not even a drop in the ocean for Bosasa. He's described what he has handed to the @StateCaptureCom investigators, including a book and some lists.
#StateCaptureInquiry We adjourn following the first day of hearings for 2019 at the @StateCaptureCom. In his concluding remarks for the day Agrizzi stated the lowest monthly bribe he claims Bosasa paid was R5,000 and went up to about R1-million. More coming up on #eNCA403.
Coming up on #eNCA403 at 22:00 @ShahanR and I discuss some of the staggering allegations former COO of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi made under oath today in day one of #StateCaptureInquiry @StateCaptureCom testimony in 2019. Acsa's issued a statement on allegations against officials.
#StateCaptureInquiry In a statement, Acsa notes Agrizzi's evidence today, including allegations from 2001 in which he implicates former and current Acsa employees. "Due process will be followed internally to test the credibility of the allegations," reads the statement.
#StateCaptureInquiry The Acsa statement continues to say the company will co-operate with the commission, will respond through appropriate channels, provide necessary information whenever required to do so and take appropriate steps once a determination has been made by it.
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