'He has never sat with me': Nomvula Mokonyane denies Angelo Agrizzi's bribe claims

20 July 2020 - 15:34 By Ernest Mabuza
Former environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane has denied claims made by former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi when he appeared before the Zondo commission.
Former environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane has denied claims made by former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi when he appeared before the Zondo commission.

Nomvula Mokonyane on Monday denied a number of allegations made against her by former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi when he testified earlier before the state capture inquiry.

Among the allegations made by Agrizzi was that Bosasa paid funeral expenses for family members of the former environmental affairs minister and hired a vehicle numerous times for her daughter. Mokonyane also allegedly received R50,000 in monthly bribes and made requests to Bosasa for the funding of ANC rallies.

Agrizzi claimed this was done to buy her influence. Bosasa needed to treat her well as she would provide them with protection regarding investigations against the company being conducted by the Special Investigating Unit.

Agrizzi also stated in his evidence that there were two occasions that he was present when Mokonyane was given money by the late Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson. One of them was at her home.

“Mr Agrizzi never visited my home in my presence. I deny Mr Agrizzi was at my house with me present,” Mokonyane told the commission on Monday.

Mokonyane said in his submissions before the commission, Agrizzi said he came to her house in her absence.

“He has never sat with me. I have never received any cash coming from Gavin Watson nor also through him [Agrizzi], as he claims that he was once asked. That is not what I know and that is not what is a fact,” she said.

Mokonyane also denied that Bosasa paid for her relative's funeral.

On Bosasa hiring a vehicle for her daughter, Mokonyane said that was an arrangement the late Bosasa CEO made with her daughter, who had studied trade and commerce in China, where she had been for 12 years.

“She was invited by Gavin, who has known her as a little girl long before the positions of government, and Gavin had an interest in understanding some of the issues he would have to deal with when it comes to business in China. That has been an arrangement.”

Mokonyane said her daughter was offered that opportunity and Watson made arrangements for her daughter to move around “from point A to point B” doing that particular part-time job while she was at home.

Mokonyane said this was an arrangement between two adults.

She denied Agrizzi's allegation that Bosasa catered for several ANC rallies on her instructions.

“The fundraising committee is headed by the treasurer-general of the ANC. There are fundraising initiatives. No individual has capacity to go out and look for resources. You have to work and be led by the treasurer-general of ANC.”

Mokonyane accepted that Bosasa supported the ANC, but said it was not at her request.

“I cannot deny that Bosasa supported the ANC and that the Bosasa office park has been, on more than one occasion, an election operations centre of the ANC.

“I cannot deny that Bosasa has not only worked with the ANC on national level, but with the ANC on the West Rand ... providing lunch packs for our volunteers,” she said.

She also denied a claim by Agrizzi that Bosasa did maintenance at her house in Roodepoort, which included work on an electric fence generator, CCTV cameras,  gardening, pool, gates and lighting.

“During my tenure as MEC and premier, those responsibilities of security were provided by the state,” Mokonyane said.