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Agrizzi has Covid-19 test after being admitted for 'respiratory issues'

Former Bosasa COO's family ask for space as he gets treatment at Baragwanath hospital

15 October 2020 - 21:43 By nonkululeko njilo
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi at the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on Wednesday. His lawyer says he has filed an appeal against the decision denying him bail.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi at the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on Wednesday. His lawyer says he has filed an appeal against the decision denying him bail.

Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has undergone a Covid-19 test at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital ahead of his admission.

TimesLIVE has spoken to Agrizzi's son, Giancarlo, and his lawyer, Daniel Witz, who both confirmed that the Bosasa whistle-blower was treated in hospital. Giancarlo said the family wanted space as Agrizzi received treatment.

The controversial former Bosasa COO has suffered two blows in the past 24 hours, with his admission at Baragwanath hospital in Soweto coming just a day after he was denied bail in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court, after which he spent Wednesday night in prison.

Witz told TimesLIVE: “He is representing respiratory issues so he has to go through the Covid-19 testing process, which has been done. We are just waiting for his results and thereafter he will be admitted into a ward.”

Witz said the prison had earlier alerted him that Agrizzi was unwell and his condition was being monitored.

Giancarlo told TimesLIVE on Thursday evening that the family had only had information which was already in the public domain.

“We have been inundated with many calls but we also do not know much. The only information we have at our disposal is in the media. It is a difficult time for us as a family. We would rather not say but ask to be afforded space,” he said.

The news of Agrizzi's hospital admission first emerged from the correctional services department, which said the corruption-accused Agrizzi had a right to health care.

“The department of correctional services can confirm that remand detainee Angelo Agrizzi has been transferred to an external public hospital to receive further medical attention. All inmates are entitled to health care in line with correctional provisions,” said spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.

Agrizzi's sudden hospital admission came hours after his attorneys filed a high court bid to see him released from prison. Witz confirmed an appeal was lodged with the Johannesburg high court on Thursday morning, after the denial of bail on Wednesday.

The charge against Agrizzi is related to gratifications he allegedly gave to former ANC MP Vincent Smith in the form of security upgrades to his home and cash transferred into his personal bank account via a Euroblitz bank account. The payments were allegedly to shield the company from probes into government contracts it had been awarded.

“We are waiting for the transcript of yesterday's bail proceedings. We will thereafter approach the court to get a date for the appeal,” Witz said on Thursday.

The NPA's investigating directorate acknowledged receiving the application through spokesperson Sindisiwe Twala.

The state had opposed bail for Agrizzi on Wednesday, arguing that he had failed to disclose the extent of his assets in SA and offshore. Prosecutor Arno Rossouw argued that the court needed sufficient information to ensure a bail applicant would not abscond.

“The problem is not that the applicant [Agrizzi] has assets offshore. The problem is that he failed to declare those assets to the court when he applied for bail,” he said.

However, Agrizzi said the assets transferred offshore were with the blessing of the Reserve Bank and were investments.