State capture: Angelo Agrizzi admits to 'messing up' on allegation against Sunday Times

29 January 2019 - 15:29 By Amil Umraw
Angelo Agrizzi is on his last day of testimony before the State Capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Angelo Agrizzi is on his last day of testimony before the State Capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Image: Alaister Russell

Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi on Tuesday said he "messed up" a question before the state capture inquiry about being offered an opportunity to respond to questions by the Sunday Times on the sale of his assets.

Evidence leader Paul Pretorius told him on Tuesday the commission had received a submission from the Sunday Times that Agrizzi lied under oath on Monday when he said the newspaper had not contacted him for comment on a story about his house being up for sale.

WATCH | Agrizzi claims he was not contacted for comment

But then the next day changes his story in these excerpts...

Agrizzi is currently testifying at the inquiry headed up by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

The newspaper submitted emails between journalist Bongani Fuzile and Agrizzi on Friday last week in which Fuzile puts a number of questions to Agrizzi.

Agrizzi responded to the email, asking for time to respond.

"Did you receive the email from Bongani Fuzile?," asked Pretorius.

"Yes, I did."

"Did you tell the commission yesterday that you had had no opportunity to respond to the issues that were to be raised in the report?," asked Pretorius.

"But he is misconstruing it, chair... My answer is simply, yes, you are right, but you are not putting it into context," said Agrizzi.

"Your answer was incorrect, you had had the opportunity [to respond]," said Pretorius.

Zondo added: "You gave a certain answer yesterday, what is your answer as of today to the question whether you were afforded an opportunity by the publication to respond or comment on the article they proposed to write... Do you accept that the answer you give is different from the answer you gave yesterday?

"I accept that," said Agrizzi.

"Have you got any explanation for giving the answer you gave yesterday to the question," asked Zondo.

Agrizzi replied that he was "very annoyed" that the Sunday Times had "gone into my private life" and claimed there were two other stories he did not have a chance to respond to.

"In my mind, I was not given an opportunity to respond to anything."

Zondo: "The fact that they may in the past have failed to give you an opportunity, is that a good enough reason for you to have said yesterday they didn't give you the opportunity to respond to the latest article?"

"Chair, I've never had to sit through these hearings before. Quite simply, it is tiring. You have to have your wits about you. You have to think, you have to answer, you have to put everything aside for nine days and I mess up on one question. You know, chair, to be frank with you, they can publish what they like and they don't have to answer for it.

"In this commission, I provided you with the facts. That's all I would like you to rule on.

"You can rule I'm a racist, you can rule I'm a liar, you can rule that I'm fat and ugly... quite simply chair, yes there is a concerted effort [against me]," said Agrizzi.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.