Bosasa allegations: Sbu who? That wasn't our guy who met Agrizzi, says police union

23 January 2019 - 11:44 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has named many people in startling testimony to the Zondo commission. The trade union Popcru is the latest to hit back, denying allegations made by Agrizzi.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has named many people in startling testimony to the Zondo commission. The trade union Popcru is the latest to hit back, denying allegations made by Agrizzi.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has rejected claims by former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi that a general secretary of the union, known as "Sbu", was promised R1m for his part in dodgy deals.

"In his testimony, Mr Agrizzi [at the Zondo commission] stated that there was in 2007 a meeting held which included the presence of a person by the name Sbu, who is purportedly said to have been the general secretary of our union Popcru; a meeting during which details towards convincing the then newly appointed National Commissioner of the DCS [Department of Correctional Services] Vernie Petersen to be obedient and co-operative to Bosasa demands were discussed, with those to mediate this process being promised a sum of R1 million on a monthly basis," said Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo.

"We do not take these allegations lightly, but want to categorically state that since its inception, there has never been any Popcru office bearer by the name Sbu, nor Sibusiso or any other similar name.

"We distance our union and its officials from such allegations and will not be defocused from continuing to expose the malpractices that have over the years entrenched themselves within the DCS because we maintain that it has drastically deviated from its core mandate."

Mamabolo said the union was "equally" interested in getting clearer details around the person Agrizzi referred to in his testimony.

"We are not and can never be deterred by individuals who would falsely claim to be Popcru leaders and bargain for their narrow self-interests by falsely claiming to have secured a buy-in from our union as having endorsed these malpractices that have paralysed the DCS. If anything, these are fabricated falsehoods since at the said time it was widely known that Popcru was a critic of the direction the DCS was taking," Mamabolo said.

"To set the record straight, it was Popcru who at the time this meeting is purported to have taken place, exposed the relationship between Bosasa, Phezulu Fencing and Sondolo IT. They all had a similar address. 

"It is historically recorded that we have consistently called press conferences and made submissions to parliamentary portfolios on the problematic relationship between Bosasa and the DCS, and have since 2009 been calling for the Special Investigative Unit's (SIU's) findings to be released."

Mamabolo said at its last central executive committee meeting in November, Popcru  had appealed to President Cyril Ramaphosa to look into Bosasa and Sondolo IT "since they had been making government a cash cow for the longest [time]". 

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