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#StateCaptureInquiry Angelo Agrizzi has returned for his eighth day of testimony. Chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo takes his seat. Advocate Paul Pretorius stands. Zondo greets, and says he wants to deal with something before Pretorius starts.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says that last week Tuesday he expressed certain concerns with regard to the breach of certain regulations by members of the press governing the proceedings.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says the inquiry met with @SAEditorsForum on Friday, represented by investigations head Terence Nombembe and Pretorius. Zondo: I just want to take this opportunity to commend both parties for the spirit in which I am told the meeting was conducted.
@SAEditorsForum #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says he will read the statement from the @StateCaptureCom on Friday's meeting with @SAEditorsForum because he thinks it is very important, and because he raised concerns last Tuesday in a public forum.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry "Three important issues were discussed: the regulations of the commission, the timing of the release of commission documents and the allegation of a list of paid journalists," says Zondo reading from the @StateCaptureCom statement on meeting @SAEditorsForum.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says, reading from the statement, the commission is bound to investigate allegations that journalists were bribed by #Bosasa to turn a blind eye to state capture, and @SAEditorsForum welcomes that investigation.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius begins with reference to Agrizzi's mention of #Bosasa's Leshabane paying journalists, which Agrizzi raised on Thursday. Pretorius says the inquiry is investigating these allegations and that investigation has begun, is ongoing.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says "the named journalist appears in my black book" and has detailed how #Bosasa director and spokesperson Papa Leshabane asked for an amount of R71,000 of which R30,000 - says Agrizzi - was for journalist/s.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi notes the word "Papa" and the word "journos" and the amount R30,000, here referring to a page from a black book. Pretorius asks what was the purpose of this payment.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says Leshabane indicated that he had "friends" with the ability to "swing journalistic points" and write positive stories on #Bosasa, also provide information about negative stories on the company and how to counter it. This at the time of bad press.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCptureInquiry Agrizzi has said that there were three journalists who Leshabane (allegedly) paid: Ntuli from the Times or The Star, says Agrizzi, Pinky Kobane and someone from the Eastern Cape whom Leshabane called Bongs.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi then names a consultant, Benedicta Dube, who he claims #Bosasa paid for more strategic work and received, he claims, well over R1-million a month for her services.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi's testified Dube and Stephen Laufer were paid by #Bosasa for media consulting services. He says there was a strategy to discredit certain journalists, including @AdriaanBasson, and link them to the "Stellenbosch crowd" as reflected in spidergrams.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says that cell phones were purchased and used to make harassing phone calls to certain journalists. He responds to a question on whether Agrizzi personally was present for paying journalists bribes. "I am going on what Papa Leshabane told me," he says
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi has described a smear campaign relating to the #SABC8 funding drive based on a single piece of paper, an email which Agrizzi says was sent to a journalist and that email stems from an unverified address.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks Agrizzi about some weekend newspaper reports on him selling his house and moving country. Agrizzi says, "I will be going to Italy on my annual fishing trip." He's also detailed downscaling and selling memorabilia, he says, for a cancer charity.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson #StateCaptureInquiry An evidently irked Agrizzi remarks on Sunday newspaper reports about him selling his house, the red cars and clothes being moved out. He says he and his wife have been living in a hotel under protection the last two weeks.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says, "I am no angel by any means." But adds that he has been doing what he can to help the country, his address was published which puts him at risk, he has downscaled, and he cannot even be at his granddaughter's birth today.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius returns to Agrizzi's testimony on Danny Mansell wanting out from #Bosasa and moving to the USA, how Agrizzi then became responsible for Mansell's bribe duties in connection with former correctional services CFO Patrick Gillingham.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says that he would always handle cash with another person present, because working with cash is like a kid with sweets, one will be tempted. It was also important to have a witness to the handling of cash.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi approximates the monthly #Bosasa cash bribe bill was between R4-million and R6-million. He has deferred in answering a question from Pretorius on assisting the likes of Gillingham evade paying tax to @sarstax, says he will need to think about it first
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax [COMMENT] #StateCaptureInquiry In my observation: there is less bravado and pomp in Agrizzi's delivery so far today. He seems muted. His voice sounds a bit hushed, his body language more closed off. To me he looks pale, and tired.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius has referred to comment in Agrizzi's statement on a contract Sondolo IT won for monitoring in over 100 courts. He says there was a 2.5% figure in a contract for "lobbying fees" or bribes to Department of Justice and Correctional Services officials.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Proceedings resume. Zondo asks Agrizzi, "How did it recover this money that it was spending on a monthly basis?" Or were contract prices inflated to absorb the costs. Agrizzi says the systems in place made #Bosasa into a highly sustainable business.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says, remember, the bribe money was tax free and so paying cash bribes decreased what #Bosasa needed to declare to @sarstax.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax [JUST IN] #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says he is "in the process of helping" @sarstax in connection with #Bosasa. This probably pertains to the company's tax affairs, alleged tax evasion and money laundering.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry "Chair I was in the presence of Johannes Gumede" when bribes were paid to two officials from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. They money would be paid at hotels and restaurants, during impromptu meetings.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi and Zondo discuss the allegation regarding Dr Khotso de Wee, highlighting that this was what Agrizzi was told, he was not present when any alleged bribe was paid to De Wee (who is currently on special leave from @StateCaptureCom).
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax MT: #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says, "Chair, I was in the presence of Johannes Gumede" when bribes were paid to two officials from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. He adds, the money would be paid at hotels and restaurants, during impromptu meetings.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi refers to a 2013 catering contract to continue with the catering services at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), it was ultimately awarded to #Bosasa.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says #Bosasa winning the continued catering contract with DCS in 2013 "was not a foregone conclusion" and the company did not then wield the same influence then with the DCS. "It was a very touch and go situation," he says.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo follows up on the request to Agrizzi for a full list of contracts #Bosasa had with government entities and parastatals. Agrizzi says there is a database at the company, which will be better than his memory. Pretorius says investigators are also on it.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks Agrizzi, "When did you meet Ms Dudu Myeni for the first time?" Agrizzi says he was with Gavin Watson and bumped into her at the Sheraton.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry "The strangest thing is that it was always cash. They payment was made to Dudu Myeni," says Agrizzi. He later adds, "I would have to pack the money in this regard." Agrizzi adds he was present on occasion when the alleged R300,000 was paid to Myeni.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi says Watson told him about paying Myeni a regular amount of R300,000 and Watson reportedly hoped it was going to then President Jacob Zuma. Agrizzi clarifies the money was intended for the Jacob Zuma Foundation and Myeni was its chair at the time.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi claims Watson said to Agrizzi he wanted to impress Myeni and Agrizzi recommended they ask his wife for advice, she suggested they buy Myeni a Louis Vuitton. "She actually thanked me for the bag. You know, it was a nice bag," he says.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi testifies the Louis Vuitton bag was bought for Myeni, R300,000 was placed inside it and Watson - he alleges - gave the bag to Myeni. Agrizzi says he did not see the bag being handed over by Watson, but she personally thanked Agrizzi for it.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax [PARAPHRASED] #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi: There were times when she would call Watson to arrange high-end functions for Zuma. She would call about renovations for her house. We wouldn't ask any questions we would just do it.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks why they would not ask any questions when it came to security upgrades for Myeni, to which Agrizzi replies, "She was very, very important. She would swing deals and she was powerful."
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo presses Agrizzi on Myeni's power and influence. Agrizzi begins with an example of needing legislation changed in connection with fracking in the Northern Cape. However, there is a break in transmission and proceedings adjourn for five minutes.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Proceedings are still on hold, while technicians and an inquiry representative try to troubleshoot. Before the adjournment, Agrizzi was talking about Myeni and #Bosasa donations (intended) for the Jacob Zuma Foundation.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax Proceedings resume. Zondo and Pretorius discuss recovering lost time, likely at the day's end. Then Agrizzi continues. "The letter is a letter of appreciation," says Agrizzi reading from Myeni on behalf of Zuma to Watson thanking Watson for a "splendid dinner" for Zuma's birthday
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi estimates the events #Bosasa catered for at Myeni's (alleged) request cost about R3.5-million per year, on his last calculation, and he claims he recalls the number "vividly" because it was labelled CSI, or Corporate Social Investment, in the books.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry "Because we had Dudu Myeni on our side, we wielded the whip," satys Agrizzi, saying companies, including Chevron, would be hailed to the #Bosasa offices over the deal. He describes a meeting at Nkandla about fracking with Zuma that was "extremely successful".
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Agrizzi continues, "Suffice to day, Bosasa was favoured by the President [...] pursuant to that Myeni would organise..." Pretroiurs interrupts to ask if certain legislation on fracking to be changed, if Agrizzi knows whether or not they were changed.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCapturerInquiry Agrizzi mentions meetings at Nkandla. He testifies Watson relayed a concern on Zuma getting his packs of money and Watson's alleged insistence on then delivering money personally to Zuma. "He was going to deliver it directly to the President," says Agrizzi.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry "Chair, I don't think the foundation got any money. I think it went straight," says Agrizzi sharing his opinion on the monthly R300,000 for the Jacob Zuma Foundation via Myeni, on the allegation.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry "Gavin wanted to make sure that Dudu Myeni wasn't taking a haircut of the money," says Agrizzi. He's claimed Watson reported he asked Zuma if Myeni was delivering the money every month to which Zuma reportedly replied, "Yes."
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax MT: #StateCaptureInquiry "The President said that he'd make the calls. Gumede then confirmed that to me, that [Zuma had] made the calls [...] that's why the Hawks then got hold of Gumede and arranged to meet him," says Agrizzi relaying what he was told about a meeting at Nkandla.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius refers to the meeting at Nkandla and asks Agrizzi for the date. "I cannot remember the date," says Agrizzi but a member of the legal team points out the thank you letter from Myeni is in April 2016. Proceedings adjourn for lunch.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax [JUST IN] #StateCaptureInquiry The Special Investigating Unit has initiated an internal process and governance committee in light of allegations at the @StateCaptureCom. A statement out now reports the SIU "commences without delay" internal procedures and is monitoring testimony.
@SAEditorsForum @StateCaptureCom @AdriaanBasson @sarstax #StateCaptureInquiry Dudu Myeni has responded to the allegations of #AngeloAgrizzi and told eNCA that he is a "bitter racist" who is, she claims, anti-black and anti-women. Myeni denies Agrizzi's allegations she was given R300,000 per month and a Louis Vuitton handbag.
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