State capture inquiry: Union boss chowed R15k a month groceries bribe, sometimes asking for more

16 January 2019 - 16:05 By Qaanitah Hunter
Former COO of corruption-accused facilities management company Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi, told the state capture commission that the general secretary of Ceppawu, Simon Mofokeng, received R15,000 a month in groceries as part of a bribe at the behest of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.
Former COO of corruption-accused facilities management company Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi, told the state capture commission that the general secretary of Ceppawu, Simon Mofokeng, received R15,000 a month in groceries as part of a bribe at the behest of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Controversial company Bosasa gave a former union boss grocery parcels amounting to R15,000 a month in lieu of him pressuring petrochemical giant Sasol to give Bosasa a contract, the state capture commission heard on Wednesday.

Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi testified that he went to a meeting with the general secretary of the Chemicals, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppawu) Simon Mofokeng, at the behest of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson to "sort out Sasol".

The commission, headed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, heard how Mofokeng allegedly gave Bosasa inside information on a contract which they used to amend their pricing structure to get the contract in 1999.

Agrizzi said it was usual practice for Bosasa - or Dyambu as it was previously known - to put pressure on the union to create a work stoppage in an effort to force management to award tenders to the company.

He said that after Mofokeng gave them inside information, they successfully won the contract.

Agrizzi said that after this, he was made to sign off on gifts for Mofokeng which included meat parcels, groceries and soft drinks.

"Occasionally, when Mofokeng felt 'done in' or he needed extra meat, he would call Gavin Watson who would then call me," Agrizzi said.

Mofokeng was sacked from Ceppawu in 2017 after he faced an internal revolt.

In 2013, he was implicated in a shady empowerment deal with Sasol that is worth up to R60m a year.

Agrizzi’s testimony is part of broader evidence he has presented to the Zondo commission on how Bosasa would pay bribes to politically connected people in lieu of government tenders and contracts.

His testimony is expected to implicate a number of well-connected people and seeks to show how Bosasa allegedly corruptly received business from the state for two decades.

The hearing continues.


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