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NPA to decide on whether to split Agrizzi and Smith trials after ill health keeps former Bosasa man away again

28 May 2021 - 12:36 By ernest mabuza
Former ANC MP Vincent Smith when he appeared for his bail application on October 1 last year. His co-accused Angelo Agrizzi remains sick. File photo.
Former ANC MP Vincent Smith when he appeared for his bail application on October 1 last year. His co-accused Angelo Agrizzi remains sick. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The corruption case of former parliamentarian Vincent Smith and former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has been postponed until July 8.

This to allow the NPA's Investigating Directorate to decide on whether or not to separate the trial.

Agrizzi was not present again in court this week because of ill health.

Agrizzi appeared only once in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, sitting at the Palm Ridge magistrate's court, on October 14, when the court denied him bail. Though the high court in Johannesburg granted him bail later that month, he has been unable to attend subsequent court dates.

Section 157 of the Criminal Procedure Act provides that the court may at any time during a trial, upon the application of the prosecutor or the accused direct that the trial of one of the accused be held separately from the trial of the other accused.

The charge of corruption the men face is related to gratifications Agrizzi allegedly gave to Smith, a former ANC MP, in the form of security upgrades to his home and cash transferred into his personal bank account via a Euroblitz bank account.

These gratifications were allegedly in exchange for the use of Smith's political influence as a ruling party MP to shield Bosasa from accountability for corrupting officials in the correctional services department who had awarded Bosasa contracts worth billions of rand.

Smith is also facing a charge of fraud. The charge emanates from his failure to disclose to the registrar of parliamentary members’ interests the gratifications that he allegedly received from Bosasa.

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